Dogs are susceptible to worm infestations that can severely affect the quality of their life, cause you to lose money on treatment, and in some cases fatalities occur. Fleas and ticks are the most common transfer agents for worm eggs and larva into the dog's body. Apart from these, soiled earth and unclean food ingested by your pet dog can give worms an entry to inside the body.
Training the dog to maintain good toilet hygiene is important; The spot in the backyard or wherever else the dog defecates should be cleaned everyday. When taking pet insurance for your pet dog, see that the insurance package covers preventive and treatment costs for the different types of worms that can infest a dog.
Here are the main types of worms that canines are suspect to –
Heartworms – Amongst the most deadly of parasitic infestations, heartworms are very difficult to treat but unfortunately preventive medication is easy to give. Mosquitoes carry heartworms. The larvae are deposited on the skin of the animal by infected mosquitoes; From here the larvae travel to the heart where they can ever attain a length of up to twelve inches. Symptoms are usually detected late; These include bloody stools, dehydration, bleeding in the intestines, etc.
Tapeworms – These are common intestinal infestations; In fact as a pet parent you may have actually seen dried rice grain like pieces in dog poop. These are broken off tapeworm segments that get discarded. Fleas transmit tapeworms. If left untreated, these worms can attain a length of up to twenty inches. Symptoms of tapeworm infestation include vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, etc.
Whipworms – As the name suggests, these worms are whip-shaped and found mainly in the large intestine where they can form an agglomeration which can block the intestine. These worms suck blood and can result in symptoms like blood in stools, weight loss, anemia, etc. The vet may have to carry out treatment in several rounds before the worm infestation is removed completely from the dog's system.
Roundworms – Roundworms can enter a dog's system even before it is born if the mother is a carrier. Nursing dogs can pass roundworms to their pups. Eating contaminated food can lead to this infestation as well. Roundworms can remain inactive for years, after this they achieve larval stage in the lungs and then end up in the intestine where they can grow up to seven inches in length. If your dog experiences bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, take it to the vet for a checkup. A course of medication will help remove the roundworms from the animal's body.