We all know that dogs are susceptible to parasites of various types. The main types of parasites in dogs we will be discussing in this article are intestinal worms, Lungworm and fleas. At some point during their lives, parasites will infect most dogs are, but they will not infest all dogs. Puppies are especially susceptible to intestinal parasites, and it is essential that your puppy goes to the vets for a thorough check-up, vaccinations and to start a worming, flea and tick regime. Doing this will ensure that your puppy will get the best possible start in life,
How Do Puppies And Dogs Get Infested With Worms?
Worms are so familiar with dogs and puppies because they can become infected in so many places and a variety of ways. Below is a list of how dogs and puppies may become infected in no particular order.
- Puppies can become infected through the milk of the mother, which is also known as in utero. It is surprising how many puppies are infected by this method; a mother infested she can pass the worms onto her pups through her lactating milk, in utero.
- Dogs and puppies can become infected through worm eggs or larvae in faeces or soil. A dog can ingest eggs or Larvae. It can be from a toy that has been contaminated by another dog. Hookworms can dig into your dog through their skin; this is usually on their paws or under their stomach area.
- Your dog can become infected with Tapeworm through ingesting a flea that is carrying the parasite. Is the dog has the infected flea on its fur when it is grooming itself, it may become infected.
- Finally, your dog can become infected through eating another dead animal infected by a parasite; This could be a dead rodent, rabbit or even a dead grazing animal.
As you can see, there are numerous different methods of contamination, that means it is easy for a dog to be infected unknowingly.
Symptoms Of A Dog Infected By Worms.
When a dog has an infestation of worms, it may not show any signs. It is often subtle changes or odd behaviour an owner may notice. These changes could be any of the following, or none at all.
- Dogs that have an infestation may have a swollen stomach. Dogs of any age can be infested, but, it is more prominent in puppies.
- Changes in their faeces, This could be, diarrhoea, bloody or mucoid.
- Worms and segments of tapeworms may be seen in the faeces.
- Dragging/scooting their bottom along the floor.
- Nibble at the base of the tail.
- A reduction in energy.
- Nutritional deficiencies.
Although there is this extensive list, your dog may show no symptoms or and combination. To confirm a diagnosis, you need to take your dog to your vet who can establish a worm infestation and the type of worms.
Effects Of Dogs Worms On Humans.
Worms that infest dogs can harm humans. Roundworms can cause serious problems when dogs ingest embryonated eggs. (Eggs are embryonated after approximately two weeks of leaving the dog.). There is then a chance of Toxocara canis, which can cause blindness. Blindness is more likely to happen in children
hookworm can also make humans ill. They are the most common cause of itching and pain in the skin, also known as cutaneous larval migrans. The problem with humans comes from contact with the Larvae. This problem is more prevalent in the tropics and the southern U.S.A/Gulf States.
Treatment Of Worms In Dogs.
Various treatments can be given to treat worms in dogs. Either tablets or drops dispensed onto the skin (at the back of the neck), or both. These can be bought from a pet shop or your vet.
Fleas and Ticks
How Do Dogs get Infested With Fleas And Ticks?
Dogs usually get fleas from other domestic animals, and pets cats or feral cats. The fleas can jump short distances from one animal to another and start a new colony on the host they have newly arrived one. The first sign you are likely to notice that may indicate fleas is that your dog will start to itch and scratch. Fleas, like other parasites, need the host’s blood. Dogs like other hosts can be allergic to the saliva that the parasite injects to cause the blood to stop clotting as they suck it for food. The reaction is they itch; the symptoms can be so severe that a single bite can cause a dog to itch and scratch for several days.
Ticks are picked up from the grass. After a Tick has fed on the host, it will fall off into the grass and undergrowth until another passing host runs through the vegetation brushing against it and the Tick is picked up by the new host, your dog, or you. Tick bites are not readily noticeable on an animal such as dogs when they have fur. You may notice your dog itching and
scratching more than usual in one place. You will need to examine your dog and see if you can see the tick. If the Tick has just been picked up, it will only be visible, or if it has started to feed, it could be up to the size of a pea. Ticks look like a little ball stuck to the skin, don’t be tempted to pick the parasite off. Improper removal can cause the legs to be left in the host, or the parasite will regurgitate its food back into the host.along with its other stomach contents. To remove a tick, you can use a tick remover or visit the vet. There is not just one type of Tick; there are Sheep, Deer and Hedgehog to name but a few all which will happily feed on anything that supplies blood, including Dogs and you.
If You Read Nothing Else On This Page Read This.
You might be wondering why I an being so intense about Ticks. These parasites are something everyone, especially dog owners and people who walk where ticks are known to frequent, should know about. Ticks carry a disease called Lymes disease. It is a horrible disease that can show the following symptoms in dogs:
- Loss of Appetite.
- Reduced Energy.
- Lameness (Maybe Intermittent).
- Generalised discomfort, pain and stiffness.
- Swelling of the Joints.
Before these symptoms, if you examine your dog, you may see another sign. It is a mark around the bite that looks like a bull’s eye. The bull’s eye is not always present, but if it is your dog has Lymes disease. If you find a Tick on your dog, the bull’s eye, or any of the symptoms, go to your vet.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure.
There are plenty of medications that can be used to prevent Ticks and Fleas. Most are drops that are used on your dog each month. Some of these also prevent and treat worms. There are also tick collars available that your dog can wear if it is necessary.
I can’t stress the importance of keeping the prevention and treatment of parasites as a priority to keep your dog happy and healthy. As for Ticks, you must monitor your dog and keep their drops and medications up to date. Any signs of Lymes disease visit your vet as soon as possible.
Also, keep an eye on yourself, monitor any bites and look out for a bull’s eye mark.