Dog Health Guide

Dog Intestinal Parasites

It’s not one of the most pleasant aspects of pet ownership, but dog intestinal parasites is something that every dog owner has to deal with from time to time.  To keep your dog healthy, it’s important to be aware of the different parasites that can take up residence in your dogs digestive system.  In fact, keeping your dog parasite free may not only be a benefit to your dog but to your family as well since some of these parasites can also affect people.

Worms can have an adverse effect on your dogs health and some can even be life threatening which is why it is critical to have regular Vet checkups where you supply a stool sample that can be checked for these parasites.  Here are some of the most common ones and the symptoms you might see if your dog has them:

Roundworms

All puppies get roundworms which is why “worming” is just a natural part of puppy care.  Of course, your dog can get these at other times too and some of the symptoms might be hair loss,  an extended abdomen, weight loss, vomiting and diarrhea.  Roundworms are one of the dog intestinal parasites that people can get, but if you are careful not to touch your dogs feces you probably won’t get them from your dog since in order to get them, you have to ingest the roundworm eggs.  You can easily relieve your dog of these worms with an oral solution that you can get from your Vet.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms are particularly repulsive because, whilst we don’t usually see the other types of intestinal parasites, tapeworms segment themselves leaving little sections of worm on your dogs hind area which can the fall off anywhere your dog goes!  Tapeworms aren’t as serious and a dog with them usually doesn’t show any symptoms.

The only way to tell if your dog has them is through diagnosis of a stool sample or by seeing the segments on his coat or around your house.  The segments look like little pieces of white rice – you might notice your vet lifting up your dogs tail and  checking his anus on your next yearly exam and that is one of the things she is looking for.

Your dog gets tapeworms from eating either fleas or rats and mice as the eggs of the tapeworm are often found in both.  Regular wormers don’t usually work for tapeworms, but getting rid of one is as easy as giving  your dog 1 little pill that your Vet can supply.

Hookworms

Hookworms are common dog intestinal parasites and most all puppies get these as well.  They can actually be rather serious as they eat blood and can sometimes cause anemia in your dog.  Signs of hookworm infestation include bloody or tarry diarrhea, loss of appetite,  lethargy and vomiting.  Hookworms can be easily eradicated with an oral wormer which is standard issue for any puppy.

Whipworm

Whipworms are another common parasite with few symptoms.  If the infestation is very heavy, your dog may have diarrhea and could suffer from weight loss and dehydration.  If left untreated, they could even kill the dog but this is in very severe cases.  When your dog has his yearly exam, the Vet will be able to do test on the stool sample to see if whip worms are present.  If they are, they can be taken care of with an oral wormer.

While dog intestinal parasites may not be something you want to talk about at the dinner table, it is something you have to consider as part of your pets health maintenance.  Keep up with your yearly exams and bring those stool samples in and you shouldn’t have to worry about worms harming your dogs health.

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