Worms are internal parasites that live in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. They can cause serious health problems especially to the puppies because their gastrointestinal systems are very sensitive. The most common types of dog worms are tapeworm, roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm. It is very important as a pet owner, that you know how to identify the type of worm that is attacking your pet because each worm requires different forms of treatments. Listed below are the different types of worms and how to identify them.
Tapeworms are named as such because of their long, flat, and tape-like structure and rice-like appearance. These parasites affect the intestines of dogs and can easily be seen by the naked eye. They can be found in the feces of the dog, in his anus, or in his bed. Symptoms of tapeworm infestation include vomiting, weight loss, itching around the anus, nervousness, and abdominal pain. Tapeworms can be transmitted from one dog to another through the ingestion of infected soil and infected insects such as fleas.
Roundworms are the most common type of worms in dogs. They affect the intestines of the dogs and they are the main reason for the pot-belly appearance in most dogs and puppies. Unborn puppies can be infected with roundworms through the mother’s milk or uterus. Dogs can get infected through the ingestion of infected insects or infected soil.
Roundworms may be present in your dog’s vomit or stool. They are usually about 7 inches in length and appear like spaghetti. Roundworm infestation in dogs can cause an obstruction in the intestine and can lead to death if left untreated. Common symptoms of severe roundworm infestation include weight loss, dull coat, diarrhea, pot-belly appearance, and vomiting.
Hookworms are very common intestinal parasites in dogs which can cause anemia and diarrhea. They live in the small intestines of dogs and can easily be transmitted to humans through walking bare footed in infected soil. These parasites are smaller than the roundworms and cannot be seen by the naked eye. They have either cutting plates or teeth-like structures which they use to attach themselves to the intestinal walls where they suck blood for food. Dogs that are infected with hookworm will manifest weight loss, low energy level, diarrhea, pale gums, bloody stool, anemia, and in severe cases, skin irritation.
Whipworms are dog worms that are long, thin, and whip-shaped. They live in the colon of dogs and cannot be seen by the naked eye. They attach to the walls of the intestines where they feed themselves, causing the intestine walls to bleed. Symptoms of whipworm infection include diarrhea with blood, flatulence, weight loss, mucus in the stool, lack of energy, and anemia.
Different types of worms require different kinds of medications. So if you are in doubt with the kind of medication to give to your dog, it is best to consult first with a vet. To prevent worm infestation, it is necessary to deworm your puppies and dogs in time.