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Types of Dog Worms

There are different types of worms that infect a dog and can render it ill, if you are a pet owner it is advisable that you know about these worms in order to provide timely intervention and treat the condition.
Dog worms are internal parasites that feed on the dog from inside and cause several health problems and if not treated on time, it can be fatal for the dog. These worms can spread from one dog to another by various means such as through fleas, sniffing of other dogs feces and so on, humans too are at a risk of getting these worms from dogs. There are 5 different types of dog worms; hookworms, roundworms, heartworms, tapeworms and roundworms and each of these types have been discussed below in detail. If you are a dog owner, it's important that you know about these parasites and their symptoms so that you can help your canine friend lead a healthy life. Here are the 5 main dog worms.

Hookworms
Hookworms are small in size and are usually found on the intestinal walls of the dogs, feeding on their blood. One of the major symptoms of a dog having hookworms is anemia, although malnutrition can also be a major symptom. Spotting blood in the stool of your dog is a sign that they might be suffering from hookworms. Puppies can acquire this either from their infected mother's placenta or by drinking the milk of their infected mother.

Roundworms
Roundworms are larger in size than the hookworms and they are the most common worms which affect dogs today. Potbellied appearance, slow growth, dull coat and fast weight loss, are some of the major symptoms of roundworm infection in dogs. This infection generally spreads from consuming infected feces or soil, drinking the milk of the infected mother dog or feeding on one of the major sources of roundworms; cockroaches. An infected mother dog may pass on this worm to its puppies through the placenta. Humans and cats too are at a risk of being infected with roundworms.

Heartworm
One of the most dangerous of all dog worm infections, the heartworm spreads from one dog to another through mosquitoes and this kind of infection is very difficult to treat, in fact there are hardly any treatment options for this infection. Hence, people who live in warm countries, where mosquitoes are active, need to be very careful. Heartworms, as the name suggest, can be found on the walls of the heart and they cause the inflammation of the arteries which in turn causes the heart to stop working. Some of the major symptoms of this type of infection is weight loss, a potbellied appearance and coughing. Consult a vet immediately when you notice these symptoms so that treatment can be started at an early stage.

Tapeworm
Identifying dog worms is easy, tapeworms, as the name suggests, look like a measuring tape; flat and long. They usually spread due to the intake of infected fleas. Tapeworms can be found on the walls of the small intestine of the dog, and one major sign of tapeworm infection is that you can actually see the worms in the feces of your dog. Vomiting, pain in the abdomen, itching in the anus region and loss of weight are some of the major symptoms of tapeworm infection.

Whipworm
Whipworms are tiny and can be seen only with the help of a microscope. These parasites can be found in the colon of the dog and these worms are difficult to remove, there are various treatments that are available. Some of the common symptoms in case of a whipworm infection is diarrhea where the dog passes bloody stool, anemia, weight loss and flatulence.

Thus, these were the major types of worms in dogs which you as a dog owner should be aware of. If you notice any of the above symptoms or if you notice that your dog has lost its appetite and lacks energy, consult a vet immediately as these too could be signs of worming. There are of course various natural means to treat this problem, but it's best that you consult your vet before trying out any treatments.
By Indrajit Deshmukh
Published: 3/17/2011
Bouquets and Brickbats
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