The tapeworm is so named because it has a flat, long and tape-like appearance. Similar to roundworms, tapeworms are visible to the naked eye. This worm can be found in broken pieces in the dog’s fecal matter. Despite the fact that it is broken, it can be found still moving around in the dog’s stool, anus or bed. Dogs often get tapeworms from infected fleas and can transmit the worm directly to human beings. In case of severe tapeworm infestation the symptoms are nervousness, vomiting, loss of weight, pain in the abdomen and severe itching in the area around the anus. Dog tapeworm treatment is possible with prescription dog worm medicine that is either administered by injection or orally.
Roundworms are of two types, Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine. Roundworms are dog worms that affect the intestines and are the cause of a pot-bellied appearance in dogs and puppies, though mostly puppies. Generally puppies get infected with roundworms before they are born, through the mother’s uterus or the ingestion of an animal that has been affected or even soil. When a dog has ingested the soil, the eggs enter its intestines and hatch there. It is there that roundworms live and grow. Once fully grown, these roundworms produce more eggs in the intestines.
Roundworms are able to grow to about 7 inches in length and look like spaghetti. These dog worms can be found in your dog’s vomit or stool. If this dog worm infestation is not treated on time it can cause death. Some of the symptoms caused by this dog worm are diarrhea, vomiting, dullness of the dog’s coat, loss in weight and a pot-bellied appearance. This dog worm is contagious and is usually transmitted through soil that has been infected. To stay healthy, it is thus advisable to wash your hands regularly. Treatment for roundworm involves the administering of dog worm medication orally. This is later followed up with fecal exams as well as monthly heartworm medication.
Hookworms are dog worms that live in the intestines and are contagious, very much like roundworms. A hookworm is a small and thin worm that hooks itself onto the walls of the intestine and sucks blood from its prey, thus eventually causing anemia and death. Hookworms also possess sharp teeth, which causes intestinal bleeding! Unlike tapeworms and roundworms, hookworms cannot be seen with the naked eye; only a vet can diagnose it. Transfer of hookworms is done before the puppy is born or through her breast milk. Symptoms caused by this dog worm are anemia, loss in weight, pale gums, diarrhea, low energy level and bloody stool.
Humans can also become infected by hookworms by the simple act of walking barefoot on soil that has been infected. Once hookworms find their way into the human body they can cause intestinal bleeding along with other problems like pain in the abdomen and diarrhea. Vets treat hookworms with the use of oral medication, intravenous treatment, a follow-up fecal exam and in some cases, a blood transfusion. Since hookworm infestation can turn fatal, it is very important to visit the vet regularly and keep up with all the exams and veterinary visits.
Long and thin dog worms are called whipworms. These dog worms live in the colon of the dog and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Whipworms cause bleeding in the intestines since they attach themselves to the walls of the intestine and live off them. Anemia, loss in weight, diarrhea, mucus and blood in the stool and weight loss are a few of the common symptoms of this dog worm infestation.
Whipworms can best be treated by using prescription medications. The treatment for whipworms usually takes about 5 days and is usually also repeated after 3 weeks. Once this dog worm treatment is complete, ask your vet for advice about heartworm medication.
This kind of dog worm is spread by mosquitoes during the long warm months when they are most active. Mosquitoes spread this disease when they become infected from biting dogs that have it. Heartworms have the potential of turning fatal if left untreated, since they destroy the tissue and muscle of the heart which eventually leads to congestive heart failure and then death. When dogs reach this stage, they experience signs of worms like coughing, dullness of their coat, a pot belly and loss of energy.
Since there are no early symptoms of this dog worm, it is advisable to begin your dog on heartworm preventative medicine. Do consult your pet before you do so.