Dog Worms Symptoms

Any puppy or dog can have worms, and it is essential, as responsible pet owners, that we know the common signs of worms and how to treat them. Not all the symptoms of worms in dogs are obvious, but knowing your dog will mean that you are best placed to notice any changes in his behaviour. If you suspect your dog has worms or doesn’t seem right, it is always best to consult your vet. If left untreated, worms can cause long-term health issues.

Worms in Dogs

Worms are common in dogs, particularly in puppies, who can absorb the worms from their mother during pregnancy and can be born with them and during nursing through the mother’s milk. If you are buying a puppy, it is essential to check if the puppies have been correctly wormed, as untreated worms in puppies can pose a severe health risk. Older dogs can also acquire Worms in several ways, so it is best practice to treat your dog for worms four times a year as a preventive method or carry out regular faeces worm testing.

Different Types of Worms in Dogs

To further complicate the matter, dogs can get different worms.

  • Roundworms – Roundworms can be passed through infected soil, faeces or wild animals.
  • Tapeworms – The most common kind of tapeworm in the UK is spread by fleas, so if your pet has fleas, it is always worth deworming at the same time.
  • Hookworms – These are not common in the UK. The adult worms hook, hence the name, themselves to the intestine and feed on blood.
  • Whipworms—Whipworms are rare in the UK but can be found in places with many dogs, such as kennels.
  • Lungworms—Lungworms can cause a moist cough because they affect the lungs and airways. They can’t be treated using a conventional wormer, so consult your vet if you suspect lungworms. They can be caught by eating slugs or snails.

Symptoms of Worms in Dogs

There are various symptoms of worms in dogs. The classic obvious sign is a dog “scooting”, which is when they drag their bottom along the ground. If your dog shows this behaviour, give them a worming treatment course. Sometimes, you may see the worms in your dog’s faeces. The other symptoms are less specific to worms, but are worth noting. Symptoms include:

  • ‘Scooting’
  • Visible worms or eggs
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Diarrhoea or vomiting
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Bleeding (lungworm)
  • Coughing (lungworm and hookworm)

How Does a Dog Get Worms?

Puppies can be born with worms, which is why it is so important to give all puppies a course of worming treatment. Adult dogs can pick up worms through infected faeces, infected soil, wild animals, eating slugs, snails, or fleas, and from contact with other dogs.

What Harm Can Worms Do To Your Pet?

If left untreated, worms can cause severe, even deadly, damage to your dog. They rob your pet of vital nutrients and can damage its organs. If you suspect your dog has worms, you must treat them promptly. If you suspect your puppy has worms, you must treat them quickly, as they can prevent average growth.

How to Prevent Worms in Dogs

No matter how careful you are, your dog’s can still get worms. Dogs will come into contact with other dogs, faces, and wildlife on their daily walks. Good hygiene, however, can help to reduce the risk. Ensure that you keep your garden clean, picking up faeces regularly. Try to prevent your dog from eating dead wildlife that he finds on his walks and from eating slugs or snails in the garden! If your dog or a household cat has fleas, be aware that these can lead to worms, so treat both conditions simultaneously. If your dog goes to kennels or associates with other dogs, ensure that the kennels are clean and that your dog’s playmates look healthy. Not all pet owners have the same high standards that you do. Regular worming treatment is always advised, as well as treating any worms that are present. Always consult your vet if you need clarification.

Diagnosing Worms

Faecal testing will show whether worms are present, which can be helpful if unsure. If your dog is scooting, or you have seen evidence of worms in its faeces, then you can be confident that worms are present, this is where a veterinarian might step in. If your dog is off-colour or not quite himself, you could use faecal testing to rule out worms as a cause. Regular treatment will kill any worms present, preventing them from causing a problem for your dog.

How to Treat Worms

Regular worming will prevent common worms, such as roundworms and tapeworms. Hookworm and whipworm can also be treated using a standard wormer. If you suspect your dog has lungworms or a lot of slugs and snails in your garden and a dog that looks pretty interested in them, then speak to your vet, as lungworms require specialist treatment.

Keep Your Dogs Healthy With the Team at Anrich Vets

Here at Anrich Vets, we understand dogs. We know your dogs’ importance to you and that they deserve the best treatment possible. Our experienced and professional team are always on hand to answer any questions you have and ensure that your pets receive the best care. We put your pet at the heart of everything we do, and our aim is always to help your pet enjoy a healthy and happy life. If you are worried or concerned about your puppy or dog, we are here to help. Call our helpful and professional team on 01942 242001 to book your pet’s vaccination appointment today.