There are worm parasites all over the world that our dog can contract easier than we realize. These worms can be super dangerous as they latch onto the dog’s intestinal wall and feed off of the dog’s blood supply and steal nutrients. The good news is there are ways to prevent parasites that every dog owner can do.
What Are Common Types Of Worm Parasites?
There are a fair amount of worms that our dog can contract in the US. Most common included roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Other worms may infect dogs, too, but are less common.
These worms are found almost everywhere. They can produce up to 85,000 eggs in just one day. If not treated in time, a severe infestation can cause death by intestinal blockage or other means. Roundworms are light in color and look like spaghetti.
Puppies with roundworms often have a pot-bellied appearance and poor growth. You may also see diarrhea or roundworms in a dog’s poop or vomit, especially after deworming.
Tapeworms need a flea to carry them in order to infect a dog (when a dog ingests the flea). Flea management is an important part of helping to keep your dog healthy. Tapeworms are flat, segmented worms that can live in a dog’s intestines.
They can cause severe infections and not allow the dog to absorb the nutrient they need from their food.
Dogs can get hookworms from ingesting their larvae in the environment or from eating other small animals. They fasten to the wall of the small intestine and suck blood, and they are a serious threat to dogs. Hookworms are very small and thin with hook-like mouths.
These worms can be deadly for puppies if they lose too much blood.
These worms attach to the dog’s large intestine. They can cause weight loss, dehydration, anemia, a pot-bellied appearance, and diarrhea. They look like tiny pieces of thread and can be found in the dog’s stool.
Routine fecal exams can catch all different types of parasites.
How Do Dogs Get Worms?
There are many different ways a dog can contact these worm parasites. Here are some of the most common:
If your dog ingests the stool of another animal, whether it is an indoor pet or wildlife, it can contract parasites.
From The Environment
If a dog comes into contact with contaminated soil the parasites can burrow into the dog’s fur and skin. This is also a common way that children become infected with parasites. They play in the dirt and grab it in their hands, or if they put some infected dirt in their mouth.
If your dog eats a smaller animal such as a mouse that is infected then it can also become infected. Or if your dog comes across a dead animal in the wild and walks by too close or tries to pick it up with its mouth, it can become infected.
From Their Mom
Some puppies contract worms from inside the womb or sometimes their mother’s milk while nursing. This is why parasite control and detection in pregnant pets can be so important.
If your dog bites a flea off of their fur they sometimes swallow them. If the flea is infected with a worm (most commonly tapeworms) this could infect your dog. Luckily these types of tapeworms cannot be transmitted to humans.
If there are fleas around there are most likely worms. This is why it is important to have a handle on preventative flea care for your dog, especially if you live on a farm or somewhere with a lot of fleas/ticks. Our Wagmo wellness plans can help cover these costs and keep your dog healthy.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Worm Parasite?
Dog’s usually offer signs that they could be infected with a parasite. If you are concerned about your dog, watch for these common symptoms and talk to your vet.
- Weight loss
- Diarrhea (Watch for mucus or blood)
- Visible worms in the stool or vomit (can look like cucumber seeds)
- Visible worms in the fur
- Pot-belly stomach (especially in puppies)
- Weakness, paleness, or poor growth (especially in puppies)
- Flea exposure (because fleas carry tapeworms)
- Some affected dogs might not show any symptoms
How Can I Prevent My Dog From Contracting Worms?
For many dogs, veterinarians recommend giving them a routine worm prevention medication, as well as getting flea and tick checks. Routine grooming can also help as professional groomers are also awesome at detecting fleas or parasites in the skin.
Worms are a lot more common than many pet owners realize, especially in puppies. This is why it is important to stay up to date with all dewormers and vaccinations, which wellness plans can help cover the cost for you. Keep your pet healthy without breaking the bank.
Wellness plans can be one of the most important things involved in helping your pet not contract, or get seriously ill from worms. Wagmo wellness covers routine fecal exams, vet visits, grooming, and vaccinations which are all important for a well-rounded wellness plan.
If you want additional coverage in the case of emergencies, laboratory tests, x-rays, and prescribed medications, then a Wagmo Insurance plan might also be considered. We offer a way for you to mix and match our wellness and insurance plans so you can find the perfect balance for you and your pet.