worms in dogs
What are Worms?
• Worms are parasites (organisms that live inside your dog.)
Where does my dog get Worms from?
• Most commonly by coming into contact with faeces from an infected dog.
• Puppies can pick up worms from their mum while still in the womb and through her milk if she is infected. WORMING PUPPIES IS VERY IMPORTANT!
• There are a few different types of worms that your dog can catch, most of them live in the stomach and intestinal tract
• The two most common intestinal worms are roundworms and tapeworm.
What are the signs of worms?
• Some dogs can have worms but only appear unwell when heavily infected.
• Some of the signs that could suggest your pet has worms include:
◦ Diarrhoea (from very severe to just a little bit loose)
◦ Weight loss, especially if they also seem very hungry
◦ Some dogs (especially puppies) can have a round or swollen looking tummy
Diagnosis of worms?
• Sometimes worms can be seen in a dog’s poo, they can look like spaghetti or bits of rice.
• Despite being infected you may not always see worms in your dogs poo.
• Worm eggs are too small to be seen by the naked eye but can be tested for in a laboratory (poo sample).
Differentials (problems that look like Worms, but aren't!)
• Bacterial Infections – E.g. Salmonella, E.Coli and Campylobacter. These are of particular concern as they can be also passed onto people.
• Viral Infections – E.g. Parvo Virus, a serious virus that causes nasty diarrhoea and unfortunately is often fatal.
• Eating a foreign object (like a toy or stone!) - This can then get stuck, causing vomiting and diarrhoea and then further, more dangerous complications.
• Vomiting, diarrhoea and weight loss are very common signs of lots of different diseases. Which is why it is important that your pet is seen by a vet and given a though examination and investigations as necessary.
Treatment of Worms?
• In most cases is very simple with either a tablet or a paste that you can give to your dog at home.
Prognosis for Worms (how a dog is likely to do afterwards)?
• Most dogs recover very well, with no long term problems.
• Very young puppies, with very high numbers of worms can be very poorly and may need extra support and aftercare, but thankfully it is less common to be severe.
Prevention of Worms
• Is easy!
• Routine worming for all dogs, how regularly you give the medication (tablet, paste, spot on etc.) depends on the product we use.
• Pick up poop! To reduce the spread of worms – they can cause health problems in children!