Since you cannot see worms in dogs, it becomes even more important to keep your beloved dog worm-free for the sake of his health and comfort. Professional vets from the trusted North Ryde veterinary hospital like Gordon Vet consider it as an absolutely must and share important tips on how to do that.
Image Courtesy: dog-health-today.com
Although worms are mostly invisible, it’s vital for you to know what harm they can do to your canine family member and how to get rid of them.
Impact of Worms on Your Dog’s Health
There are a lot of worms that can live within your dog’s body and all of them are unpleasant.
- Roundworm: Roundworms can attack puppies while they are still in the womb and even while nursing. They can lead to ill thrift, diarrhoea and vomiting. If they are in large numbers, they can even cause an obstruction in the intestine because of which your dog can be seriously ill. They are quite large in size and you can see them in the faeces or vomitus of the dog. Larvae of roundworms can infect humans too and can damage eyes and liver.
- Hookworms: These live in the small intestine of your dog and suck blood. They can suck blood even up to the extent of causing anaemia and can kill young pups. The signs of hookworms being present in your dog’s intestine are that his gums may look pale and his faeces can be tarry dark, due to the digested blood in them. Hookworm larvae may affect humans too by crawling around under the skin leading to a red itchy rash.
- Whipworm:These are present in your dog’s caecum, equivalent to human appendix and his large intestine. Whipworm eggs are very strong and can survive for years in the ground. This means that soil can cause an infection anytime. This worm causes severe intestine inflammation, causing diarrhoea containing mucous and blood.
- Tapeworm:A tapeworm called dipylidium is spread through fleas and doesn’t give rise to any big health issue barring an itchy bottom and tapeworm segments around the dog’s anus. Another tapeworm called echinococcus also doesn’t cause much trouble but its eggs can infect humans causing cysts filled with fluid in brain, liver and lungs.
- Heartworm: These spread through mosquitoes. Unlike other worms, these don’t live in the gastrointestinal tract of your dog but in the large blood vessels that carry blood from the right side of your dog’s heart to his lungs. They give rise to inflammation of these vessels and blood clots, and hinder blood flow. If remain untreated, they cause heart failure with fluid accumulation, coughing and eventually, death.
Image Courtesy: boxerforums.com
Several worming treatments are available and the similarity in them is that they don’t stop worms but kill the ones in the dog’s body before they go out of control and cause a disease.
Many companies manufacture allwormer tablets, some for intestinal worms and heartworm, while some for only intestinal worms. If it is to be given every month, it’s probably for both, while if it is to be given every 3 months, it’s only for intestinal worms.
Puppies should be treated every two weeks till they are 12 weeks. After that they should be treated monthly until 6 months of age. And after that they can be treated every 3 months, just like adults. Treatment for heartworms should be given every month from the age of 12 weeks.
Treatment of Worm Infestation
No worming treatment is 100% effective and they even don’t kill young worms growing inside your dog. You can treat your dog as often as every 3-4 weeks if required to eradicate a stubborn infection.
Worms can become dangerous and so you should free your dog from them as soon as possible. Contact Gordon Vet in North Shore to make your dog worm-free and healthy.