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How to treat your dog's worms

How to tell if your dog has worms

Worms are one of the most common health problems for dog, but, fortunately, also very treatable. Therefore, it is important for you to learn how to tell if your dog has worms and obtain the appropriate medication.

I will go over how to know if your dog has worms, what you should do if you find worms, and how you can prevent worms.

  1. Signs telling you that your dog has worm...
  2. Why your dog might have worms
  3. How do you know if your dog has somethin...
  4. What kind of worms can your dog have?
  5. What to do if your dog has worms
  6. How to select a dewormer

Signs telling you that your dog has worms

Common symptons to watch out for

Since your dog can't speak English well, YOU need to be diligent in watching out for your dog and noticing any unusual signs. Here are some common ways to tell if your dog has worms.
  • Visible worms or eggs in fecal matter - This is the most common way to confirm that your dog has worms. However, not all kinds of worms are visible in fecal matter to the naked eye.
  • Visible worms in fur, or area around dog's rear - Tapeworms, in particular, may appear as small moving segments, which later dry out to resemble grains of rice.
  • Scratching or rubbing of rear on the ground or against furniture - if your dog shows signs of itchiness around the rear, it may be irritated by worms in the area. However, this could also be due to problems with glands unrelated to worms.
  • Vomiting with visible worms - if your dog has worms, you may also see them in your dog's vomit.
  • Bloated stomach or belly - This is another common symptom of worms, often seen in puppies who receive worms from their mother.
  • Weakness, increased appetite, constant hunger, weight loss - If your dog has worms, the worms are stealing your dog's nutrition. Your dog may be weak or constantly hungry, and in severe cases, may be losing weight.
  • Diarrhea, particularly with blood in it.

Why your dog might have worms

When your dog is at risk
  • Newly born puppies - roundworm eggs can form cysts in adult dogs that remain dormant. These eggs CANNOT be removed by medication. When a female dog is pregnant, these dormant eggs will activate and infect the puppies.The mother's milk can also pass roundworms to puppies.
  • Contact with infected dirt - roundworm eggs and hookworm larvae can reside in dirt. If you dog comes in contact with infected dirt, your dog may have worms.
  • Fleas - young tapeworms can reside in fleas. If your dog swallows fleas while grooming, your dog will ingest tapeworms and be infected.
  • Hunting or eating wildlife - wild animals may carry worms, including tapeworms residing in fleas on wild animals. If your dog hunts or eats wildlife, your dog may swallow worms.

How do you know if your dog has something besides worms?

A dog owner's guide to diagnosis and treatment
Some of the symptoms for worms, such as stomach irritation, can be confused with other health problems. Keeping your dog healthy means you need to be alert to warning signs for a range or problems, not just worms. You can always bring your dog to the veterinarian, but the first line of defense, is YOU, the dog owner at HOME, not the veterinarian's office.

In addition, medication can have side effects, and some dogs react poorly to medicines prescribed by the veterinarian. Even after you visit the veterinarian, you need to carefully observe your dog and know when there is another problem.

If you are interested in learning how to take care of your dog's health from home, and what health problems to look out for, I recommend that you devote some time to learning about dog health issues. This means a lot of reading, at least in the beginning! You can ask your veterinarian to recommend literature. Easy-to-read, but reputable, magazines are also a great source of health information.

What kind of worms can your dog have?

How to tell the difference between worms.
Below are symptoms and risks for worm infections, grouped by the kind of worm.
  • Roundworms - roundworms can grow up to half a foot in length and live in the intestines. They should be visible as small noodle-like bits in fecal matter and cause swollen bellies. Roundworms are a big problem with puppies.
  • Hookworms - hookworms are thin, small worms that "bite" or "hook" into the intestinal wall. They are not always visible by eye, which means a microscope examination is needed to observe eggs in fecal matter. Hookworms can cause bleeding because of their biting, which results in bloody stools or anemia.
  • Tapeworms - tapeworms are flat, long worms that live in the intestines. Segments of the tapeworm breaking off are visible to the naked eye as rice-like grains after drying out.
  • Heartworms - heartworms are one of the most dangerous worms because they cannot be easily detected. Heartworms can be spread by mosquitoes. Heartworms damage the heart muscle and require a blood test to detect. Heart damage can be fatal, and you will only see other symptoms such as weakness or dull fur after heart damage has already occurred. It is absolutely necessary to keep your dog on a heartworm preventive medicine.
  • Whipworms - whipworms are thin, thread like worms living in the large intestine. Adults may be visible by the naked eye, but fecal matter does not contain many worms, so they may be difficult to detect. A microscope examination of several fecal samples may be necessary to detect them. Whipworms are one of the most difficult worms to eliminate, but they are treatable.

What to do if your dog has worms

How to treat your dog
If you think your dog has worms, safe and effective treatments are readily available.

For the most common types of worms, including heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, there are all-in-one medications for your dog in flavored chewable tablets. For example, Iverhart Max
tablets are useful for treating all four of these conditions and includes three active ingredients: ivermectin to prevent heartworm, pyrantel pamoate to treat roundworms and hookworms, and praziquantel to treat tapeworms.

Since this kind of medication covers all the major worm types, it is a very convenient multi-purpose medication for the average dog owner. You need to determine the correct dosage based on your dog's weight, but most of these medications require one tablet a month.

How to select a dewormer

Guide to petmeds for dog worms
If you know what kind of worm your dog has, you can find the correct medication available from discount online stores. Just make sure to check the ingredient and usage label to determine activity against a specific kind of worm. Common ingredients are listed below. Many convenient formulations which mix multiple ingredients are also available. In some cases, a prescription may be necessary.
  • Ivermectin - prevention of heartworm
  • Pyrantel pamoate - treatment of hookworms and roundworms
  • Selamectin - treatment or prevention of heartworms, prevention of hookworms and roundworms
  • Milbemycin oxime - prevention of heartworms, treatment of hookworms, roundworms, and some whipworms
  • Paziquantel - treatment of tapeworms

How to make sure your dog does not get worms

The best treatment is prevention
Because worms are effectively treated with medication, it is important to keep you dog on a worm prevention treatment. Heartworm, in particular, can be fatal, and is preventable with monthly tablets. The same tablets can also help prevent other worms. For example, Iverhart makes a preventive tablet labeled Iverhart Plus, which contains only ivermectin for prevention of heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.

Preventive measures are the best way to deal with worms BEFORE your dog has health problems. By taking this simple measure, you can help keep your dog happy and healthy.
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