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Dog Worms Cause Serious Problems
No matter how careful of an owner you are your dog is going to get worms. This is because worms can find their way into your dog's body through an amazing number of avenues, not just through eating garbage or raw meats. Routine worm treatments are highly recommended to eliminate the strain and drain that worm's put on your dog's entire system.
The roundworm is the most common variety of worm found in a puppy, but they can also be present in adult dogs as well. The puppies can become infected with the worms through several different ways. The most common is through the milk from the female if she herself has roundworms or through the uterus before birth.
Both puppies and adult dogs can also get roundworms from eating soil or feces that contains roundworm eggs. This is a real problem in public areas, kennels or yards where dog fecal matter is not cleaned up immediately. It is also important to talk to your kids and always have them wash their hands after playing with stray dogs or in public parks since these worms can be transmitted to humans.
Symptoms of roundworms include a bloated, pot bellied shape, most commonly seen in puppies, as well as long, thin worms in vomit or in the feces. When they are expelled from the body they are white and look like fine spaghetti, but once in the air they turn yellowish to brown. Roundworms typically are most problematic because they can cause digestive blockages, often leading to death from digestive complications.
Hookworms are very small, virtually undetectable worms that hook into the intestinal walls and literally suck blood from the dog. Severe infections can result in anemia and death with symptoms ranging from skin irritations to bloody diarrhea and extreme lethargy. They are transmitted to puppies and dogs just like roundworms but can also enter the dog through the skin, especially the pads of the feet.
Unfortunately these worms can also cause serious health risks for humans if the worms burrow into the skin and the tissue of the body. Cleaning up fecal matter and wearing shoes in public areas is a good idea to prevent any risk of contact with the worm larva.
Not as common as round and hookworms, the whipworm is also invisible to the human eye but is evident by blood in the stool, heavy bloody mucous discharge, diarrhea and flatulence. These worms also feed of the blood of the dog through the intestinal walls however they are much more difficult to treat than hookworms.
Although people can get tapeworms they cannot be transmitted from a dog to a person. A dog gets tapeworms from eating a flea that contains tapeworm eggs, so flea treatment is an excellent preventative option. Tapeworms are evident by segments of the worm eliminated in the feces that look like pieces of rice and may easily be seen moving or wiggling around the anus. Other symptoms include vomiting, weight loss and irritation of the anus.
There are holistic or natural treatments for worms which can be effective in preventing infestations when fed or provided on a regular basis. Your vet can also prescribe medications that literally knock out the worms, allowing the dog to pass them out of their body in the next bowel movement. Many regular heartworm medications also provide monthly worm treatment and prevent infestations from developing.
Over the counter worming medications are not typically effective for treating worm problems and will not treat tapeworms at all. Talk to your vet and use an appropriate, approved treatment to prevent health problems due to worms and parasites.
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