As dog owners, we all agree that worms are the most common health issue occurring in dogs. The good thing, however, is that these in most cases are treatable. Most of the dog owners regularly treat their dogs with dewormers to avoid the risk of worms at all.
The most common type of worms affecting dogs are roundworms, hookworms, heartworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. Some of the worms are difficult to spot, however, most of them can easily be spotted.
How to Know If Your Dog Has Worms
Dogs will mostly show symptoms in case of a worm infestation. Listed below are some common symptoms of worms in dogs.
Visible Eggs or Worms in Dog Feces
The most common way to tell whether your dog has worms is to spot one in his fecal matter. Tapeworms can be seen as small moving things around the dog’s anus. They can even be seen in the dog’s fur. Roundworms, however, appear in the dog’s feces and can be easily spotted.
A dog’s feces may contain worms or their eggs in them and it is the best method to know if your dog has worms.
However, not all type of worms can be seen in the dog’s stool or are visible to the naked eye. Some of them are microscopic and thus, not spotting worms in your dog’s feces doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog is free of these worms.
Scratching or Rubbing of Rear
Itchiness in the rear area can indicate that your dog has worms. He may keep scratching his bottom or rubbing it on the floor. This itchiness may be caused by worms, however, itchiness in the rear can be an underlying symptom of some other infection. It is important to check with a veterinarian.
Vomiting and Diarrhoea are common symptoms of worms in dogs. Blood in stools along with diarrhea may also be a result of worms. Dogs with worms often tend to throw up as well. Some worms like the roundworms can be easily spotted in a dog’s vomit.
A sudden bloat or appearance of a pot belly is another symptom of worms. This is common in puppies who have these worms picked up from their mother. It is important to deworm the pups using dewormers as suggested by your vet.
Changes in Coat
An infected dog’s coat will start to dull over time. Loss of shine and dryness in may denote worms. A fairly healthy dog’s coat will always be thick and will have a good shine.
Change in Appetite
Worms, especially roundworms cause changes in a dog’s appetite. Dogs tend to use their appetite after coming in contact with worms. There may also be a sudden increase in hunger due to the worm stealing the dog’s nutrients.
Your dog may appear hungry all the time while still losing weight. It is important to contact your vet in such cases.
If your dog eats well but has rapid weight loss, this could be an indication of a tapeworm. A tapeworm consumes all the dog’s nutrients while still making him hungry which could lead to losing weight and making him weak. Your dog may appear lethargic all the time.
In some cases, a dog may show signs of skin irritation and itching. Such is a case of a severe infestation and should immediately be treated.
While these are some common symptoms of worm infestation in dogs, some types of worms do not show any noticeable symptoms until they reach a point where the dog’s health is at risk. These type of worms can only be diagnosed through a fecal exam.
It is thus important to treat your dog with dewormers beforehand regularly to prevent any risk of these worms. These worms can severely deteriorate your pet’s health and can make him very weak. These dewormers are available easily without a prescription.
If you think that your dog has worms, it is important to take him to a veterinarian and treat him right away.