Worms in dogs can be difficult to classify and treat. With proper care and attention to their environment and other living conditions, this can be easily prevented and treated.
How to Get Rid of Worms in Dogs
It’s one of the most concerning (and disturbing) things to know that your dogs might have worms in their bodies. Even in humans, worms prove to cause various complications in our bodies no matter how small they may be. Whether your dogs contract them or not depends on a lot of factors, and most of which involve their environment and how clean they are.
Everything You Need to Know About Worms in Dogs
Before you learn how to get rid of worms in dogs, you first need to understand what they are, the different types of worms in dogs, how your dog can contract them, and what the health risks are to dogs and humans as well.
Types of Worms in Dogs
There’s not just one type of worm in dogs that you can find. Each of them has different characteristics such as the location where they thrive, their effects, and its preventive measures.
Roundworms are the most common of the parasitic worms you can find inside a dog – common enough that almost every dog can be infected with them at some point in their lives. Your dog can get roundworms in many different ways and one of them is its heredity. Often, when a mom contracts roundworms, most likely her puppy will have them as well. This can happen when a puppy eats larvated eggs from its surroundings and drinks young worms in the mother’s milk. Another common way for dogs to contract roundworms is when they eat an animal whose tissues have present roundworm larvae such as mice or another small mammal.
Hookworms are parasites that live in the intestines of your dog and from there, feed on their blood. They prove to be a serious threat to dogs as these hookworms suck enough of their blood to incite internal blood loss. Adult dogs may have chronic blood loss and have diarrhea and weight loss as a result. However, it’s not the same in young puppies; they might not survive this blood loss from hookworms without blood transfusion.
Similar to hookworms and roundworms, whipworms can also be found in the dog’s digestive tract; they’re found in the cecum, which is where the small and large intestines meet. Whipworms are difficult to tract and diagnose especially since your dog will almost always show no signs of contracting such infection. If left untreated, it can cause bloody diarrhea, other serious diseases, and even death.
Tapeworms have different segments that can be located in your dog’s intestines. These segments look like grains of rice or seeds and can be found on the rear end of your dog, your dog’s poop, or where your dog lives or sleeps. This can be difficult to track as well since your dog usually won’t be sick from it or won’t suffer from weight loss.
Heartworms are the most common in dogs throughout the United States. However, that does not mean it’s as severe as roundworms, which is another common parasitic worm in dogs. Rather, heartworms are the most damaging in dogs. They may contract these heartworms through mosquitoes. It can, then, affect the blood flow throughout your dog’s body. Heartworms can also affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver so there’s no one standard list of symptoms.
Symptoms of Worms in Dogs
Although there different types of worms that
- Changes in feces
- Excessive vomiting
- Change in physical shape
- Change in gum color
- Poor coat appearance
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in stool
How to Get Rid of Worms in Dogs
After determining what type of worms your dog has contracted, it’s now time to treat them. The main goal of any remedy on how to get rid of worms in dogs is to loosen the hold of the worm from your dog’s organs. These parasitic worms are relatively harmless as compared to when they finally attach to the intestines. There are two major ways on how to get rid of worms in dogs: prescription medicine and natural home remedies.
Prescription medications are the most effective way on how to get rid of worms in dogs. Your veterinarian will most likely prescribe you with probiotics, which are bacterial supplements that benefit your dog and their intestine and digestive system.
They are effective in removing the worms in your dog’s digestive tract through attacking the outer coating of the worms to lose their grip on the host. This is most effective when a capsule is administered with every meal. Take note that not every medication can be purchased over the counter. Most should be prescribed by your veterinarian to be more precise in treating the type of worm in your dog’s body.
Other medical remedies that your veterinarian may prescribe include shots or injections for your dog.
Natural Home Remedies
Many of these intestinal parasites can be treatable with natural home remedies. Some include:
- Garlic is essentially a healthy ingredient in any of our dishes. However, we might be underestimating its beneficial effects on both us and our dogs. In terms of getting rid of worms in dogs, it can help attack the worms through the strong acids found in its oils.
- Raw Carrots cannot be digested by the dog’s intestines as finely as with other foods. Because of this, when the carrots go through the digestive tract, the carrots and its coarse form will gently remove the mucus lining the area where the worms are in.
- Pumpkin Seeds were already used as a natural home ready by Native Americans to treat parasites in humans. Given that, expect that this will be a useful treatment even for our dogs! Pumpkin seeds contain amino acids that paralyze worms, called cucurbitacin. This, then, makes the worms lose their hold on the intestines.
- Turmeric is generally considered a superfood but it can be difficult for dogs to eat. It’s recommended that you mix it with healthy oils such as coconut oil to get rid of its strong scent and taste. Giving this to your dog will help get rid of worms and repair the damage the worms caused to your dog’s intestines.
How to Prevent Worms in Dogs
- Once your dog gets checked up by the veterinarian, keep them on their prescribed medication. Take note that dogs can get infected again; getting infected won’t make them immune from contracting any type of worm. In line with this, it’s highly recommended that you take him for regular exams.
- Another sure fire way of preventing worms in dogs is to keep them from eating poop and drinking from potentially contaminated water sources such as lakes, streams, and ponds. When you’re out with them to take a walk at the park, always keep an eye on them!
- Use preventive treatment for fleas and ticks. There are many dog products that can help with flea and tick control such as collars, medicine, and treatments to be administered orally.
- Most important of all, keep your environment clean by cleaning up after them well. These worms are most commonly contracted through your dog eating their or other’s poop lying around. Clean out your yard and anywhere your dog usually resides and sleeps in.
The common denominator of these preventive measures is the cleanliness of your dog and their environment. It’s your responsibility as a dog parent to ensure that everywhere you and your dog goes, they are safe and clean.
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