Achieving Balance and Harmony

HEARTWORM AWARENESS

Symptoms of worms in dogs

By Nicole Pajer

Worms are one of the most common health problems for dogs. There are five types of worms that generally affect dogs: heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. Certain types of worms are easier to spot than others. For example, if your dog picks up a tapeworm, it’s common to see what resembles grains of rice in its stool. Heartworms, on the other hand, are harder to diagnose and an infected dog will often show only subtle symptoms until the disease has progressed to a more advanced stage.

Here are the 11 most common symptoms of worms in dogs:

1. Dog coughing

One of the advanced stage symptoms of heartworms in a dog is coughing. Dogs with hookworms and roundworms may also develop a cough.

2. Dog vomiting

Dogs that have worms will often throw up. Roundworms can sometimes show up in a dog’s vomit.

3. Diarrhea in dogs

Soft stools and canine diarrhea can be the result of worms. In addition to diarrhea, dogs with hookworms may have blood in their stools.

4. Low energy dogs

Dogs that are lethargic and less active than normal may be showing symptoms of having worms.

5. Pot bellied appearance

If your dog starts to appear pot bellied or bloated, it may have contracted worms. This is commonly seen in puppies that have picked up worms from their mother.

6. Dog’s change in appetite

If you notice a sudden change in your dog’s appetite, he may have come into contact with roundworms. Dogs that are infected often lose their appetite. As worms steal a dog’s nutrients, a dog with worms may also show a sudden increase in hunger.

7. Dog losing weight

If your dog shows signs of rapid weight loss, he may have a tapeworm or a whipworm.

8. Dull coat

A healthy dog should have a shiny thick coat. If your dog’s coat begins to dull and dry out, he may have picked up a form of worms. Loss of hair or the appearance of rashes can also denote worms.

9. Dog itching and signs of skin irritations

Dogs that show signs of skin irritation may have a severe infestation of worms.

10. Dog rubbing its bottom on the ground “scooting”

While this can often be caused by problems with the anal glands, dogs with worms will occasionally rub their rear ends on the floor in order to relieve themselves of the itch due to worms in the area.

11. Visible worms in fur or fecal matter

Some worms, such as tapeworms may appear as small moving segments in the fur or area around dog’s anus. Roundworms can often be seen in a dog’s stools.

If left untreated, worms can damage your dog’s internal organs and lead to loss of consciousness and death. If you suspect that your dog has worms, take it to your nearest veterinary office. Most worms are easy to treat and your veterinarian will prescribe a medication based on the diagnosis.

The best way to keep your dogs safe is to make sure they use a monthly heartworm disease preventive year round.

Was your dog ever diagnosed with heartworms? How did you treat it? Tell us in the comments.

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