Infection by worms is a common health problem that can affect dogs, although you may not know that not all worms are alike. As far as dogs are concerned, worms come in five types: hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms (intestinal worms), and heartworms. It’s easier to spot some kinds of worms than others. For instance, if your dog picks up a tapeworm, you will usually see what looks like grains of rice in his stool. Roundworms also can often be seen in a dog’s stool. Tapeworms may appear as small moving presences in a dog’s fur, or around the anal area. Heartworms, on the other hand, do not produce discernable signs of their existence until heartworm disease is at a reasonably advanced stage. Here are ten common symptoms that may mean your dog has worms.
Dogs with worms often throw up. Roundworms may sometimes show in a dog’s vomit.
Soft stools or diarrhea may be the result of worms. As well as diarrhea, bloody stools may indicate hookworms.
One advanced stage sign of heartworms in a dog is the development of a cough. Dogs with roundworms or hookworms may also cough.
Dogs that are lacking in their usual level of energy may have worms.
5. Change in Feeding Habits
A sudden change in a dog’s appetite may mean he is infected with roundworms. Food may lose its appeal, or he may suddenly be more hungry because worms are stealing nutrients from his food.
6. Loss of Weight
Rapid loss of weight may indicate the presence of tapeworms or whipworms.
7. Dull Coat
Worms may cause a dog’s coat to begin to appear dull and dried out. Other indications of worms may be hair loss and the appearance of rashes.
8. Skin Irritations
A severe infestation of worms may cause skin irritation and itching.
A dog rubbing its bottom on the ground often indicates a problem with the anal glands. However, a dog with worms may scoot to relieve the itch, due to worms in the anal area.
If a dog begins to have a pot belly, it may have contracted worms. If a bloated stomach applies to puppies, they will probably have picked up worms from their mother.
What Should I Do if I Suspect my Dog has Worms?
If you have any suspicion that your dog has worms, don’t hesitate to take him to your vet. Most intestinal worms are easily treatable with prescribed medication. However, heartworm disease is much more challenging to treat and stressful for your dog to cope with. You can prevent heartworms via the administration of a monthly preventive medication that has the added advantage of also preventing other worm infections.
Emergency Treatment in Columbia, South Carolina
Except in severe cases of heartworm infestation, worms do not usually constitute an emergency. However, worms should never be left untreated, as worm infestations can cause damage to your dog’s internal organs. In a worst-case scenario, the effects of worms can even lead to a loss of consciousness and death. If your dog is unfortunate enough ever to need the most up-to-date emergency care, don’t hesitate to bring him to CVETS.