What to do if your dog has worms

dog in forest

Dogs can't tell you if they are feeling unwell but there are signs that you can look out for. Worms is a common problem in dogs and can be very uncomfortable for your pet.

Here we provide you with some of the signs and indications that may be present if your dog is suffering from worms with advice on what to do in this situation.

What symptoms should I look for?

Worms are often visible in faecal matter. This is one of the best ways to tell if your dog has worms but not all worms can be observed with the naked eye. Worms can also be seen in dog fur and towards the rear of the animal. They often manifest themselves as small grains that look quite similar to rice.

If your dog begins scratching their rear or rubbing it against furniture then this might be a sign that they are suffering from worms. There may be other medical reasons for this behaviour and you should always double check with your local vet.

Vomit often contains worms so look out for signs in your dogs vomit. Their stomach may also become bloated so it is important you keep an eye out for any subtle changes. Worms are parasites which feed off the nutrients meant for your dog so an increase in appetite is another sign of their presence.

How do dogs get worms?

There are many reasons why your dog may contract worms. Puppies may have contracted worms from their mother and dormant eggs may present themselves as worms inside the newly born pup.

Dogs which have contact with contaminated dirt can also contract worms. Fleas are also a host for different worm species. Dogs can and do swallow fleas whilst being groomed and this can lead to worms. Wildlife also contains worms so if your dog eats some of these plants then they may contract them. There are many types of worms that your dog can contract too, including roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, heartworms and whipworms.

How do I treat worms in my dog?

All these types of worms have to be treated in different ways. To treat roundworms your dog will need to take oral medication. This medication is called a "de-wormer".

The dog should be checked every few months after the treatment has begun and will likely need to take monthly heartworm medicine.

With tapeworms, regular "de-wormers" may not work and stronger medicine may be needed. Tapeworms can be prevented by treating your dog with flea collars but this is not always foolproof.

Hookworms are treated in much the same way as roundworms. Your dog may also need to have a blood transfusion if their condition gets really bad.

Whipworms can be eliminated using special medication including fenbendazole and febantel. This treatment usually last five days and is repeated after three weeks. Your dog may also need to take heartworm medicine.

Whilst worms is a common and easily-solved problem that is treated without claiming against insurance it's always wise to be covered for other eventualities.

The Co-operative Insurance dog insurance offers financial protection for veterinary bills and comes at competitive premiums to suit varying budgets.