Worms & Your Dogs Health

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Your dog is a very active and a curious animal which can typically be found either rooting around the trash, digging up dubious objects in the garden or coming into contact with other animals.

Though this may appear to be great fun, these very activities can lead to problems within the longterm health of your pet!.

Canine worms are considered to be internal parasites, some people notice them immediately when the dog excretes the long thin string like shapes in their stools.

However, this isn’t always the case.

There are some that can only be seen using a microscope once a blood sample has been taken.

Once these parasites have entered the dog’s digestive system, the chances of survival are very slim.

The only thing the owner can do is offer liquids and some medicine which will hopefully strengthen the pet’s immune system and hopefully kill the worms.

Canine worms have been classified into 5 types:

The first is called the hookworm. The dog can get this by walking in the garden and once these are on the foot of the pet, these will slowly move inside and multiply causing much havoc in the digestive system.

These usually grow from 12 to 15 and suck on the blood. The dog can die even before this come out in the feces which is why puppies during this stage in life should be regularly brought to the vet.

You should be aware that this isn’t only contagious to dogs but also to humans as well!.

The second is called a tapeworm. You will not mistake seeing this since this type of worm as it is long and usually live in the intestine of the animal. These can also be found in the anus and comes with fleas that suck on the blood of the animal. This can be killed using prescribed medication as ordinary vaccination does not work.

The third type is called the roundworm. These look like spaghetti noodles when it comes out of the feces of the dog. Though some may come out, there are still some inside and can multiply considerably if proper treatment isn’t administered. The only way to fight this is also using prescribed medication.

The fourth type is called a whipworm. This parasite is called this way because these appear to be a combination of both the tape and the round worm. These are usually found in the colon area and have an incubation of three months before becoming visible in the feces.

The final type is the heartworm. These usually stay near the heart and only a blood sample can reveal their existence. It is better to prevent this from happening since most pups that are infected die from this particular disease.

The best protection against all these parasites is to bring the dog to the vet and having regular vaccinations done. You can also try getting some disinfecting pills. These can be purchased without a medical prescription and should be used using the proper prescribed dosage.

At home, you can start by making sure the dogs house or bedding is clean at all times. Your pet should also be given a bath once a week and tied to a leash or long lead to prevent it from digging in the yard or eating from the trash since this is where germs and other contaminants breed & grow.

When a dog is attacked by parasitic worms, the immune system of the affected animal may either fight or just give up. A lot of dogs will die while those that do survive will have some side effects that will affect the dog for the remainder of its life.

Does your pet dog suffer from heartworms?

Dog heartworm is a common disease among canines in the United States. Discovered in 1856, the worms mainly live in your dog’s heart and major blood vessels.

The worms, especially on worst cases, seriously impair the heart’s operations. Worse, they could also clog your dog’s blood vessels. Theseinfections result in loss of body weight, chronic cough, dropsy, shortness of breath, chronic heart failure, vision disturbances, and ultimately, death.

Since the symptoms of heartworm disease vary among dogs, it would be best that a veterinarian check your dog to evaluate a final analysis. Early treatment is vital.

Most dogs show visible symptoms only when the disease has reached the point where it would be almost improbable to be cured by treatment.

To help you see early symptoms and to hopefully save your dog, look out for these signs:

– Dogs that have been quite active usually tend to be tired easily.

– Dogs that would have been otherwise healthy usually gasp for breath.

– Coughing of your dog has suddenly become a common occurrence.

– Dogs bred for hunting could no longer keep up with rapid chases and usually fall from exhaustion.

– In some rare instances, the dog experiences convulsions, jaundice, and problems in the vision.

– Before it dies, the dog experiences emaciation. often precedes death.

What dogs are prone to infection by the heartworm?

Previously, it was thought that only dogs that were long-haired were more resistant to heartworms because of the high difficulty of mosquitoes (which bring the worms) to penetrate through the dogs’ hair. Since then, it has been proven that this was not true.

Mosquitoes even have a hard time penetrating through short-haired dogs. Actually, mosquitoes feed on the abdominal region of the dog. That is why both long-haired and short-haired dogs are susceptible to an infection, since both types have little hair on this region. Some mosquitoes also feed on the muzzle area or the ears where the dog’s hair is quite matted down.

Can heartworm infection be treated?

Heartworm infection can be treated through chemical therapy if diagnosed early. Most of the chemical treatments kill the worms over some period of time. Killing all the worms in one swoop is no better: If all the heartworms were killed in just one treatment, the dead bodies would deposit in the lungs and likely kill the dog as well.

Remember also that the chemicals used in treating the worms are also as dangerous to your dog as the worms. That is why treating the disease using chemical therapy should be used with utmost care and should be handled by a veterinarian.

There also cases when surgery is needed. In most cases, this can be a feasible option. Consult with the veterinarian about surgical correction or any other method that can cure the infection.

There are also drugs that could prevent your dog from getting heartworms. These drugs attack the parasite in its early stages and stop the worms from being full-blown adults later. This doesn’t mean that your dog would be free from infection. This only means that dogs can still get infected during the season of mosquitoes and yet remain unscathed of heartworms.

Preventative medication using drugs, on the other hand, can cause serious complications if your dog already has heartworm infections in a higher level. That is why the use of drugs should be under the supervision of veterinarians. Taking drugs are also combined with regular blood texts. This has shown to be quite effective in saving many dogs with heartworm infection.

In order for your dog to avoid heartworm infection, protect your pet from mosquito bites especially if there is a high mosquito population in your area or if it is mosquito season. You might want to screen the sleeping quarters of your dogs to avoid repeated bites. Repellent sprays can also be used, but these only have limited effects.

You might also want to consult your vet fro preventive medication. In addition, you might want regular blood tests on your dog to assess earlysymptoms of infection. This is quite tricky, especially if the symptoms of heartworm infection could not be seen immediately.

In short, be vigilant with your dog, keep it away from the trash & other animals & make sure you keep a lookout for the vital early signs of heartworm infection.

If in doubt get your dog checked out NOW by your local vet….better safe than sorry!.

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This worms & your dogs health article was kindly contributed by David Exon, Nutritional Consultant, who has donated many more inspiring diet tips, diet blog, pet health articles and motivation resources to this healthy weight management website.

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Updated: December 14, 2013 — 6:39 am

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