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.

–Sponsors Message–

Sign up for quarterly worming reminders at www.stopwormsdead.co.uk

IMPORTANT: Looking to get the best deal on dog worming treatment? Click here ►►


Leave a comment

Free Dog Magazine