Browsing articles in "Symptoms Of Dog Worms"
Dog Worms Online Editor

3 Signs Your Dog Has Worms (& How to Treat)

Whenever our pet shows signs of being off colour it’s a worrying time and we all want to do our best to find out why they’re ill and how we can help them return to their normal selves (even, no, especially, if that does mean those little naughty habits return also).

As part of Merial Animal Health’s campaign to help dog owners prevent parasites, we’ve asked their ‘Parasite Party’ campaign team to offer some top tips to learn more about the most common types of worms and their impact on our dog’s health because beneath the surface they can cause more damage than we know!

Although prevention is always recommended to combat fleas, worms and ticks, learning how to tell if your dog has worms is something you need to know about.

There are many types of worms which can affect dogs, including roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, lungworm and tapeworm. The most common type is the roundworm. It’s estimated that up to three in 10 dogs have roundworms.

Roundworms are highly reproductive – in fact, females can lay up to 300,000 eggs daily, according to the Parasite Party campaign experts.

Dogs that are affected shed these tiny eggs when they go to the toilet. These eggs, although infective after two-three weeks, can stay alive and infective for up to five years, being resistant to high or cold temperature, as well as disinfectants.

Dogs may swallow those eggs by showing an interest, such as sniffing, in other dogs’ faeces. Humans may also be affected by this worm: in particular children, who are particularly at risk as they often play on the ground or in soil where worm eggs may be present (in parks for example); while adults may be exposed during activities in the garden, such as weeding, where dogs may have been.

It’s also estimated that seven in 10 puppies are affected by roundworm and they can be affected from birth as a mother can pass worms to her pups during pregnancy and even in her milk.

Signs Your Dog Might Have Roundworm

Dogs can visibly show signs of having worms with a potbelly, diarrhoea or vomiting, as a result of the worms infecting the dog’s intestines.

Some dogs may also show signs of respiratory illness, such as coughing and pneumonia.

Could Your Dog Have Worms?

If you’re worried your dog might be affected by parasites and you would like further information, you can read more here.

This article was sponsored by Merial Animal Health.

Find out much more about the Parasite Party campaign and protect your dog inside and out online at http://www.parasiteparty.com/en

 

Dog Worms Online Editor

Why Does my Dog have Diarrhea?

Diarrhea & Your Dog: Most dog owners are familiar with diarrhea in their pets; the condition is a very common one. But only a handful of owners really know anything about diarrhea’s varieties and causes.

Perhaps the greatest single cause of diarrhea is a change of diet. Thus, a dog that has been used to eating a commercial brand dog food and is suddenly given table scrapes is very likely to suffer diarrhea. A change in drinking water, especially when traveling, can also cause temporary diarrhea. Continue reading »

Dog Worms Online Editor

Canine Lungworms – Lungworms in Dogs

A recent nationwide survey of UK vets revealed that over 25% had confirmed or suspected cases of Lungworm in a dog. But worryingly only 6% of dog owners were aware of the condition’s existence.

lungworm in dogs

Vet Dane Walker from Streatham Hill veterinary surgery in south-west London says: “Most dog owners are unaware of the condition because it is new. Most vets including myself have not been taught about it.” So to rectify this Bayer animal health, makers of the flea treatment Advocate has launched a nationwide campaign to promote lungworm awareness. A Bayer animal health spokesman explains: “The campaign is to raise public awareness of the parasite’s existence. We are running advertisements in the national press, and we have a broadcast campaign featuring celebrity vet Emma Milne from Vets in Practice.”

And the campaign is being backed by Vets from across the UK who are also trying to make owners more aware of the condition. Dane explains: “We are making clients more aware of the condition through leaflets at the surgery and articles on our website.”

Caroline Reay Chief veterinary surgeon at the Blue Cross hospital in Merton adds that the Blue Cross are also trying to raise awareness through displays in the waiting rooms of all Blue Cross hospitals.

So clearly it’s an important issue, but what is a Lungworm? And how does your dog catch it?

There are several variations of the Lungworm parasite, and the majority are found in warmer climates, and are not found in dogs. Different types of the parasite have often been found in farm animals like cattle, and some strains can affect our cats, although this is not common, and those parasites cannot be passed to dogs.

But one parasite does affect our dogs, and it’s this one that’s causing all the concern.

The parasite cannot be passed to humans or to other pets in the house, but the spokesman for Bayer Animal health explains: “The lungworm Angiostrongylus Vasorum is a potentially lethal parasite that can infect dogs. It’s sometimes referred to as the French Heartworm, and left untreated this parasite represents a very serious risk to a dog’s health and can kill.”

He continues: “Dogs become infected with the lungworm through eating slugs and snails which carry the larvae of the parasite Angiostrongylus Vasorum. Most dogs do not habitually eat these garden intruders, they may do so by accident – e.g. when a slug or snail is sitting on a bone or a favourite toy, or when drinking from a puddle or outdoor water bowl. But some dogs do take great pleasure in eating these miniature ‘treats’, and should be considered at risk from infection.”

Animal care manager at the Mayhew animal home, a London based charity and re-homing centre, Gillian Scott adds: “Lungworm is caught via contact with animals that host the parasite. It can also typically be caught from fox faeces as well as from snail or slug slime.”

But Caroline Reay from the Blue cross adds that while it is suspected that the parasite can be caught from the molluscs’ slime this theory is, as yet unproven.

Dog Worms Online Editor

Most Common Types Of Dog Worms & Their Symptoms

All dogs will have worms at some point in their lives with younger dogs being be more at risk. Preventing and treating worms can be relatively easy especially when caught early. There are five main types of dog worms – whip worm, round worm, hook worm and the tape worm and parasitic flat worm.

Here we explain more about these five types of dog worms, the symptoms of dog worms and their life cycle.

Nematode
(Whip worm, round worm and hook worm).

There are over fifteen thousand species of parasitic nematodes. They can be found in
deserts, in the arctic, in oceanic trenches and in your dog.

Life Cycle:
Anything up to three years.

Symptoms: Weight loss, dull coat, scooting, diarrhoea, vomiting.

Cause: Lack of prevention, infected food, contact with infected carcasses.

Treatment: Oral treatment or spot on treatment, although prevention is more effective.

Luckily in the UK we are not likely to come into contact with some of the more worrying species of parasitic worm and their primary carriers, the mosquito.

Parasitic organisms in general have quite complex life cycles, migrating between several different hosts or locations in the host’s body, including the intestine, the bowel and the heart. Infection usually occurs against biting insects, particularly if it travels orally, but parasites can enter a host via an open cut in unfortunate circumstances. One of the main problems associated with a nematode infestation is the dramatic weight
loss.

Since the nematode will live inside the small intestine of its host for most of the duration of its stay, it can easily feed on anything your dog eats, meaning that the nutrition is being diverted and the worm subsequently grows and grows. In addition, anaemia is also a symptom of roundworm infection. Some species of roundworm are bloodfeeders, either they attach themselves to the wall of the gut and suck blood or are pool feeders whereby the worm bites into the gut wall, creating a pool of blood which
they then digest.

Of particular significance to pet owners is the risk of zoonoses, or the transmission of worms from animals to humans. Toxocara canis (the dog roundworm) eggs may be passed to humans in dog faeces or through touching a dog’s coat.

Treatment and prevention are fairly simple, in fact responsible pet owners should ensure that they pick up their pets’ faeces and that their dogs have a roundworm control routine. Treatments do not prevent the parasites from entering the body, but they do kill the worms before they reach sexual maturity and before they can do any harm. It is recommended that dogs are wormed at least four times a year, however if your dog is in regular contact with children, you may wish to use a monthly roundworm treatment, either in a tablet or spot on product, to ensure the risk of transmission is reduced.

There are many species of intestinal worms in Europe, but some of them are restricted to warm climates. One particularly nasty example is the heart worm. This parasite uses a mosquito as its primary host. Once the mosquito bites a mammal, the larvae are injected into the blood stream. Once the larvae reach the heart of the secondary host, they begin feeding on blood. They then grow and this is where the health problems begin. A serious infestation of heart worm can be fatal for a dog, as the symptoms are hard to spot and treatment can sometimes fail.

In order to reproduce, the heart worm distributes its eggs into the bloodstream of its host, and then it is a matter of chance. If the host is fed on by another mosquito, it is that mosquito’s next meal that will become infected with the eggs. If that animal is already a host then the eggs will be fertilised and a larger infestation will occur. It is therefore important to ensure that your pet is effectively protected bowel and the heart. Infection usually occurs against biting insects, particularly if it travels with you with its PETS Passport to continental Europe or further afield.

Cestoda
(Tape worm, parasitic flat worm)

Certain tape worms can grow up to 80ft long inside their host, causing potentially fatal
intestinal blockages.

Life Cycle: Up to 3 years

Symptoms: Weight loss, dull coat, scooting, diarrhoea, vomiting.

Cause: Lack of prevention, infected food, contact with infected carcasses, contact with contaminated soil.

Treatment: Oral treatment or spot on treatment, prevention is recommended. The symptoms and treatment of this type of parasite are very similar to that of the nematode, although the Cestoda have a different adult morphology which is more often segmented, meaning that they can break up without dying. They also posses male and female reproductive equipment, meaning that they can breed independently and do not rely on cross infestations to reproduce.

Cestoda
(Tape worm, parasitic flat worm)

Certain tape worms can grow up to 80ft long inside their host, causing potentially fatal intestinal blockages.

Life Cycle: Up to 3 years

Symptoms: Weight loss, dull coat, scooting, diarrhoea, vomiting.

Cause: Lack of prevention, infected food, contact with infected carcasses, contact with contaminated soil.

Treatment: Oral treatment or spot on treatment, prevention is recommended. The symptoms and treatment of this type of parasite are very similar to that of the nematode, although the Cestoda have a different adult morphology which is more often segmented, meaning that they can break up without dying. They also posses male and female reproductive equipment, meaning that they can breed independently and do not rely on cross infestations to reproduce.

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