The term ‘worms in dogs’ is used to describe many different internal parasites which can infect our pets. Owners can buy treatments for worms in dogs from pet shops and veterinary practices and should use them regularly. Responsible pet care and regular worming treatments go hand in hand.
There are two types of infections of worms in dogs which are common in the UK. These are roundworms and tapeworms. Unfortunately many puppies are born with a roundworm infection so they are very hard to avoid. This underlines the importance of worming our dogs regularly, especially during puppyhood.
As worms in dogs go, roundworms can have serious consequences, despite the fact that many dogs which are infested will show no outward symptoms. The adult roundworm lives in the intestines of the dog, feeding on the intestines’ contents. This effectively means that the roundworms eat your dog’s food! In severe cases, there can be several roundworms inside one dog. This explains why dogs with severe infestations are malnourished, have dull coats and lack energy.
Roundworms can remain dormant in cysts inside the muscles of adult dogs. They then awaken in times of stress. Very commonly, pregnancy awakens them and the larvae migrate around the body, infecting the unborn puppies. Treatment for worms in dogs administered to the pregnant bitch cannot rid the unborn puppies of their worms. This explains why treating worms in dogs is such a priority for puppy health care.
mature worms release eggs which are passed in the dog’s feces leading soil to become contaminated. Then the dogs pick up the eggs from the soil. The most common roundworm in the UK is the Toxocara Canis and it can infect humans, especially children who come into contact with the eggs playing in contaminated soil or sand. The larvae can migrate through the child’s body, potentially causing permanent eye damage if they end up behind the retina. It is therefore very important to regularly treat worms in dogs.