A worm infestation can make your dog very unhappy and in some cases, like heartworm, can even cause death. It is very important to know how to treat dogs with worms at home to ensure they are well looked after and stay happy and healthy.
Dogs are a great place for worms to hang out and and as your dog is often sniffing, licking, tasting all sorts of nasty things it is fairly easy for your dog to pick up worms.
Worms are also very common in puppies and vets recommend de-worming them for the first time when they're 2 to 3 weeks old. Worms can pass from mother to baby before birth or soon after, through her milk. It may take more than one dose as worms may be hatching at different rates.
How do I know my dog has worms?
Your dog may be behaving unusually or generally looking unwell. Look for any of the following signs that your dog ma have worms:
- Linking their back end
- Shortness of breath
- weight loss
- Worms visible in your dogs poop
There are several types of worms that your dog may be infested with and it is important to understand which worm it is. The most common are worms that live in your dog’s intestine include Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms. The other is heartworm which can be very serious for your dog.
Intestinal worms in dogs
If you suspect worms, you can take you dog to the vet for a checkup. Take a fresh poop sample in a clean plastic bag so that your vet can check it under a microscope. Is worms are present he will see them and determine which type of worms they are.
Treatment for intestinal worms in dogs
It is important to make sure he has regular exams at your vet. This should include analyses of fecal and blood samples to assure your dog is free from worms.
Intestinal worm treatment is through a medication or injection to kill the worms.
How to prevent intestinal worms in dogs
It is a much better idea idea to prevent the worms rather than treat them later. Some way to reduce the chance of a worm infestation includes
- Regular vet checks
- Flea treatment
- Worm prevention medication
- Picking up poop in the back yard
- Keeping your yard and dog clean
- Safe Guard treats against Tapeworms, Roundworms, Hookworms, and Whipworms
- Easy to feed granules that mix into food
- Safe for young puppies over the age of 6 weeks, pregnant dogs, and heartworm infected dogs
- Must be administered for 3 consecutive days and is effective for 6 months
- Each package contains three 4-gram pouches
- Natural wormer - eliminates parasites without chemicals
- Safe, non-toxic, parasites don't build immunity as they do with traditional wormers
- 15 trace minerals - safe for animals, plants, and soil
- Digestive aid
Heartworms in Dogs
Heartworms are a potentially life-threatening parasite . They live in the heart of a dog where they can do a lot of damage. Heartworm is a major risk to our dog's health and it is important to take preventive measures. If an infection is suspected you must seek treatment from your veterinarian.
How does my dog get heartworms
When a mosquito bites a dog infected with heartworm, it picking up the heartworm eggs in the dog’s blood. These heartworm eggs hatch into larvae while in the mosquito. When the mosquito next bits another dog he transfers the heartworm larvae into the new dog’s blood stream.
As the worms grow, they make their way to the right side of the heart and pulmonary arteries. Once in the heart they breed and multiply heartworms in your dog’s heart and bloodstream.
Heartworm infestation is very serious and may cause the following in your dog:
- Coughing and shortness of breath
- Blood flow restriction
- Irregular heartbeat
How does heartworm affect my dog
When your dog is first bitten by a mosquito, they will not show any signs of heartworms not will it show up in blood tests.
Once the heartworm grows and makes its way to your dogs heart it may be able to be detected in tests. At this stage, the damage that the worms have done to your dogs heart and lungs can also be detected by x-ray. Your dog many start coughing and be short of breathe.
Your dog may then start to lose weight and the damage is now affecting the liver and kidney. Due to the restricted blood flow your dog will suffer more pain, shortness of breath, lethargy and hypertension. In severe cases your dog may faint or even have a heart attack.
Your dog may then suffer what is known as Vena Cava Syndrome where you dog enter a state of shock and starts to die. At this late stage, surgery to remove the worms is possible but but no means a guaranteed cure.
Testing for heartworm in dogs
Your vet can take a sample of your dog’s blood to test for heartworm. Even if your dog is on heartworm preventative they should be checked if you suspect something is wrong.
If the test if positive for heartworm, your vet may order more blood tests to see how far the infection has progressed. They may also conduct an x-ray or ultrasound of your dog’s heart to check for the presence of adult worms and any damage that they have caused.
Treatment for heartworm in dogs
Treatment of an active heartworm infection can be dangerous for your dog. The dog is normally injected with a poison to kill the worms. In some cases repeat injections maybe necessary.
A big concern with heartworm treatment is clogged arteries and potential cardiac arrest. This may occur as the worms die and are released from the heart. It is possible for the dead worms to block blood flow to your dog’s heart and lungs. Monitor your dog closely and make sure he has time to recover and
Other dogs experience reactions to the medication. The treated dog must, therefore be monitored over several days.
How to prevent heartworm in dogs?
You can see why heartworm prevention is so important. Therefore, the best treatment of heartworm infection is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Speak to your vet about heartworm prevention. Preventative treatment is available in a yearly injection, or in a once a month pill or topical application.
Natural treatment for intestinal worms in dogs
Worm treatment is a pesticide that kills the worm inside of your dog's body. Although it is reportedly safe for your dog, in some cases it can make your dog sick You may just prefer to use a natural worm treatment product instead.
A Broad spectrum wormer for treatment and prevention of:
- 1) Tapeworm
- 2) Hookworm
- 3) roundworm.
No Chemicals, Non toxic, No food withdrawal
- For cats and dogs 6 months and up
- Effective and safe solution to rid pets of worms and parasites
- Made from only natural ingredients
- Kills and expels live larvae, as well as any unhatched eggs
Petremedychart.com lists several natural remedies for intestinal worms in dogs:
Pumpkin Seeds (raw, organic).
This has been used for hooks and tapeworms. If your pet is a rodent hunter or is always re-infesting with tapes or hooks, you may want to consider this as a preventative measure (it really works). The dose is 1 tsp of the ground seed per 10 lbs of the animal's body weight. Tip: Grind the seeds in an electric coffee grinder (to a loose powder) andstore it in a glass jar in the freezer. Mix it into your pets food daily. This is a great dietary supplement whether your pet has worms or not! Their great for your pet but in the intestinal track, they act like ground glass to a worm, another one of natures great tricks! Raw pumpkin seeds are also a super source of zinc and vitamin A, and are higher in protein, 29%, than almost any other nut or seed.
Garlic (Allium sativum).
This has shown some activity against a parasite called Giardia. It is useful for boosting the immune system in recurrent infections. Dogs can become infected with Giardia by drinking from contaminated streams and waterways; or anything else contaminated with infected fecal matter.
Garlic has a well earned reputation of enhancing immunity and warding off all kinds of worms. It can be minced or pressed and added to your dog (1/2 to 2 cloves daily) or cat's (1/4 to 1/2 clove daily) food. For cats it can also be offered minced and added to a small amount of warm cream.
In a recent scientific study, garlic was tested against Ivermectin (drug) and proved to be a very useful as an alternative treatment against parasites in animals and humans. New research using the Allium sativum anthelmentic effect and has been patented
Garlic has anti-platelet activity (preventing blood from clotting), it could increase the risk of bleeding. Tell your veterinarian that your pet is on this dietary supplement and discontinue its use before surgery or during treatment with blood-thinning medications.
This was shown to be effective in eliminating roundworms in pigs, it may work for your pet. As a supplement mature green papaya is a great source for digestive enzymes and provides the protein digestion of old muco-protein and parasites. If you don't have access to fresh papaya it can be purchased in powder form in health food stores.
Carrot (Finely Grated).
Added to your pets daily diet, a couple of teaspoons up to 2 Tablespoons depending on the size of your pet can help keep the digestive track clean and less prone to worm infestations.
Black Walnut (Juglans nigra).
This is a common anti-parasitic used in dogs and cats to treat tapeworms: most dosing schedules recommend 1 capsule of the ground herb per 20lbs of body weight. Black walnut should be used under professional supervision. DO NOT EXCEED DOSAGE. MORE IS NOT BETTER AND IT COULD BE HARMFUL (potential toxicity). Caution:Do Not Give Black Walnut to horses. Some horses are very sensitive to a fungal contaminate that can be found in walnut hulls. Due to safety issues (tannin and alkaloid levels that may lead to vomiting and diarrhea) we feel conventional dewormers (and other herbal deworming preparations) are much safer.
Can I get worms from my dog?
The short answer is Yes, Worms can be passed on from your dog to you. Ways to prevent worm transfer include
- Wash your hands regularly after playing with your dog and picking up poop.
- Dont let dogs lick your face
- Don't share bedding. Put your dog in his bed, not yours.
Worms will make your dogs very unwell and unhealthy. Regardless of the treatment that you choose, always ensure that your dog in not in pain or suffering. See your vet or holistic vet for good advice and treatment options.