Worms in dogs
Helminthiasis affects even the cleanest and well-groomed dog, therefore, the fight against parasites consists not only in regular washing and protecting it from street acquaintances, but also involves other directed actions and increased attention from the owner. How worms can appear in dogs, how to recognize and remove them – this is further discussed in the article.
- Ways of infection with worms
- What are helminths dangerous for dogs
- Symptoms of worms in dogs
- What types of worms do dogs have
- Diagnosis of helminthiasis
- Treatment of worms in dogs
- How to properly deworm dogs
- Preventive measures
- Is it possible to get infected with worms from a dog
- When to give medicine for worms to a dog
- How to collect dog feces for analysis
- How to give a worm pill to a dog
Ways of infection with worms
In the vast majority of cases, the dog becomes infected with worms by swallowing their eggs. But there is another way of infection – transmissible, through the bites of blood-sucking insects. In addition, the penetration of the parasite is possible through damage to the skin of the animal. Newborn puppies are easily infected from the carrier mother of the worm infestation.
Helminth eggs can get into the pet's body if:
- the owner does not pay enough attention to the sanitary and hygienic side of the life of a four-legged friend;
- the dog is not undergoing preventive deworming;
- a pet eats raw meat and fish;
- the dog often walks unaccompanied (questionable "acquaintances" are possible, drinking from puddles, eating various leftovers, and so on);
- other animals that have worms live in the apartment.
Under other favorable conditions, a pet can get infected even at home by sniffing the shoes of the owner who came from the street.
Note: no dog is insured against worms, but the risk group includes animals with weakened immunity, puppies, hunting and yard dogs.
What are helminths dangerous for dogs
In the absence of treatment, worms in dogs can eventually lead to serious consequences, including:
- weakening of immunity and lagging in growth and development due to insufficient intake of nutrients into the animal's body;
- mental exhaustion of the dog due to constant itching, pain, discomfort;
- joining an infection against the background of a decrease in protective forces, the development of numerous diseases;
- serious intoxication of the pet's body with toxic products of parasite metabolism, the development of allergic reactions.
Helminths lead to diseases of the liver, brain, heart, lungs and other organs. Ignoring the symptoms of worms in a dog is fraught with the development of jaundice, heart attack, epilepsy, intestinal obstruction, cerebral hemorrhage, loss of vision and other consequences, up to a fatal outcome.
Important: According to statistics, more than 60% of domestic dogs are infested with helminths. At the same time, infected pets look clinically healthy, so the owners do not always suspect that their beloved animal is sick.
Symptoms of worms in dogs
At the beginning of the disease, it is quite difficult to determine the presence of worms in a dog. Signs of helminthiasis begin to appear when the parasites have multiplied and caused significant harm to the body. In this case, the owner can detect in the dog's feces both the worms themselves that have come out of the intestines, and their eggs in the form of tiny grains.
However, it is not always possible to see worms or their eggs with the naked eye. It is possible to suspect helminthiasis in a pet by the following symptoms:
- the dog loses weight with an excellent appetite;
- wool has become dull;
- the animal licks the anus and/or rubs the anus on the floor;
- the pet is breathing heavily, there is a cough;
- swollen belly (especially in puppy age);
- difficult defecation alternating with diarrhea;
- lack of appetite;
- skin rashes.
Important: if you find such symptoms, you should first contact a veterinarian. The same signs may indicate the development of other disorders, therefore, it is impossible to independently give medications for parasites, based only on the listed manifestations.
What types of worms do dogs have
What symptoms helminthiasis will manifest in a pet depends on the type of worms. The table below gives a brief description of the parasites that occur most frequently.
Diagnosis of helminthiasis
If you suspect helminthiasis, you need to contact a veterinary clinic for diagnostic measures. Diagnosis of worms in dogs consists in laboratory examination of blood and feces. Analyses make it possible not only to identify the presence of parasites, but also to determine their species.
Many owners believe that to diagnose helminthiasis, it is enough to hand over the pet's feces. However, some worms that live in the heart or lungs can be detected only as a result of an animal's blood test. The advantage is given to immuno-enzyme analysis (ELISA) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR). These methods are considered the most informative.
If a pulmonary or cardiac form of helminthiasis is suspected, the doctor may prescribe an X-ray examination or / and ultrasound of the heart.
Attention: even if the owner knows what this or that parasite looks like, having found worms in the dog's feces, it is necessary to pass feces for diagnosis. It is quite possible that other helminths will be present in the animal's body.
Treatment of worms in dogs
Treatment of worms in dogs is aimed at destroying parasites and their larvae, eliminating the symptoms of the disease, increasing the immunity of the animal. Therapy depends on the type of helminth: in most cases, medications are used, but sometimes it is necessary to resort to surgical interventions (echinococcosis, dirofilariasis).
The most popular form of medicines are worm pills, but there are anthelmintic drugs in the form of suspensions and drops for external use. The latter option destroys not only worms (mainly roundworms), but also blood–sucking insects - fleas and ticks.
Among the active substances included in anthelmintic preparations, preference is given to: praziquantel, ivermectin, moxidectin, imidacloprid, selemectin.
In addition to medicines aimed directly at combating worms, a specialist can prescribe drugs that prevent blockage of blood vessels by dead parasites – anticoagulants. In addition, the dog is shown vitamin complexes, immunostimulants. If necessary, it is possible to prescribe antibiotics, antipyretics, detoxification and other medications. Drugs and the treatment regimen of a four-legged friend are selected individually.
In difficult cases, the dog needs surgical treatment to get rid of worms. The operation is performed under general anesthesia, while together with the worms, the doctor removes an area of the affected soft tissue (with a skin form).
Preparatory measures are required beforehand – animal diagnostics, sometimes drug therapy. After removing the worms, the animal is prescribed special treatment aimed at maintaining the body and preventing the development of complications and infection.
In the case of the cardiac form of dirofilariasis, endoscopic intervention is used – worms are removed from the atria, arteries under the control of ultrasound and ECHO KG.
How to properly deworm dogs
In order to completely and without complications expel worms from a domestic dog, you need to adhere to certain rules.
- Pre-undergo a diagnosis at a veterinary clinic.
- Carefully read the instructions for the preparation of worms.
- As a rule, the medicine is given in the morning and on an empty stomach to avoid vomiting (if there are no other recommendations).
- Before taking the remedy, the pet needs to be treated from insects (in a few days).
- In the process of destroying parasites, the dog should drink a lot – you should take care of the availability of clean water in a bowl.
- It is advisable during treatment to protect the liver from toxins released by dying worms. It is necessary to find out in advance from the veterinarian what drugs can be used.
- Be sure to make sure that the animal empties the intestines in the coming hours. Otherwise, you need to give your pet a laxative.
- Be sure to repeat the treatment after 10-14 days.
During deworming, you need to carefully monitor the condition of the dog. With a significant accumulation of parasites during their mass death, the animal may experience severe intoxication: vomiting, clouding of consciousness, convulsions. This condition requires treatment in the clinic (intravenous administration of drugs) under the supervision of a specialist.
Unfortunately, it will not be possible to completely prevent the infection of the dog with worms. However, it is possible to significantly reduce the risk of helminthiasis with the help of elementary preventive measures.
- Timely carry out deworming of the pet, observing the timing and dosage.
- Periodically take feces for helminthiasis even in the absence of appropriate symptoms.
- Exclude raw fish and tripe from the diet. Process raw meat with boiling water.
- Do not allow the dog to drink from puddles and open reservoirs, pick up pieces of food on the street.
- Timely identify and destroy blood-sucking insects. Treat the animal with means for external use.
- Avoid unnecessary "acquaintances" of the pet.
- Regularly wash the dog's litter, wash the bowl for water and food.
Is it possible to get infected with worms from a dog
A person and other pets can easily get infected from a dog with certain types of worms, for example, echinococcosis. Helminth eggs enter the body after communicating with the dog from unwashed hands, from under the nails. They can penetrate through the mucous pathways, for example, if a person rubs his nose or sneezes.
To avoid infection, you need to exclude kissing a pet, wash your hands with soap every time after communication, limit its location in the apartment, not allowing it on your bed or at the table. In addition, frequent wet cleaning with the use of disinfectants will help reduce the likelihood of infection.
When to give medicine for worms to a dog
For the first time, deworming of a dog is carried out at the puppy age of about 3 weeks. Further, the medicine for worms is given depending on the vaccination – 2-3 weeks before the vaccination, and then six months later. As they grow older, it is recommended to worm dogs once every 3-6 months, as well as 2-3 weeks before vaccination. It is necessary to carry out deworming of female dogs before the planned binding, as well as after estrus. Pregnant animals are not given anthelmintic drugs.
It should be borne in mind that for the complete destruction of worms in dogs, the medicine should be given twice, with a break of 10-14 days. This will destroy adult parasites and those that will come out of the larvae during this time.
How to collect dog feces for analysis
To make a stool analysis for the presence of worms, it is enough to take a small amount of dog feces and take it to the laboratory. Feces can be put in a container (special containers are sold in ordinary pharmacies) or, in extreme cases, in a plastic bag. If it is not possible to take it immediately, it is allowed to store the material for 1-2 days at a temperature no higher than 30 C (preferably 3-10 C). To detect worm larvae, it is not necessary that the feces be fresh.
Sometimes it is necessary to do a series of consecutive stool tests for worms. In this case, feces should be taken after each emptying of the dog's intestines. Serial diagnostics increases the reliability of the results obtained.
How to give a pill from worms to a dog
Dog owners often have problems with the tablet form of drugs from worms – the pet stubbornly refuses to swallow the pill. If the dog is small, you can try to put the medicine as far as possible into the mouth forcibly. With large breeds, this can be fraught with unpleasant consequences for the owner.
In practice, the following options are used:
- crush the tablet and add it to food;
- give in powder form, falling asleep as far as possible on the tongue;
- dissolve the drug in a small volume of liquid, type into a syringe (without a needle) and inject the pet into the mouth;
- hide the medicine in a small piece of food (meat, fish, sausage) and arrange a game with catching treats;
- use a special device – a tablet reader.
If the method with food is chosen, then before giving a pill from worms to a dog, you need to keep the animal hungry for a while. In addition, very little food is put in the bowl: firstly, it increases the chances that the dog will completely swallow the medicine, and secondly, a large amount of food can provoke vomiting.
Worms in dogs are a problem and a threat concerning not only the health and life of the animals themselves, but also their owners. Attentive attitude to a fluffy pet is a guarantee of peace and well–being of the owners.