Vet Rachel shares how to spot worms and fleas on your dog

April 21, 2024

National Pet Month in April is all about responsible pet ownership and so this year, our dog-loving vets in Wells are highlighting the importance of keeping a close eye on your canine companion’s health in order to spot parasites.

In this article, Vet Rachel is talking about worms and how to tell if your dog has them, plus we’ve also got an extra Guide on Spotting Fleas to share with you:

Download and share our guide to spotting fleas

Dog worms – the common culprits

Monitoring for signs of intestinal worms in your dog is a really helpful thing you can do to protect their wellbeing. Parasitic worms can cause discomfort and health issues for your dog if left untreated. Below, Rachel explains the common signs that may indicate your dog has worms and what you can do to help keep them healthy.

First, here are three of the most talked about worms in dogs in the UK:

  • Tapeworms in dogs are commonly transmitted through the ingestion of fleas or by hunting and eating small mammals or birds infected with tapeworm larvae.
  • Roundworms can be transmitted to puppies from their mother before birth or through her milk. Adult dogs can also become infected by ingesting roundworm eggs from contaminated soil or faeces.
  • Lungworm in dogs can be contracted through the ingestion of infected slugs or snails, as well as their larvae present in the environment. Puppies may also acquire lungworm larvae through their mother’s milk. Once ingested, the larvae develop into adult worms in the dog’s lungs, leading to potentially severe health issues (see bellow). It’s crucial to be vigilant about preventing exposure to potential sources of infection and if you suspect your dog may be affected by lungworm, book an dog consultation at Nurture promptly by calling 01749 673239.

Eight signs your dog could have worms

  1. Sudden changes in appetite and weight loss or gain – Rachel advises that appetite changes are always worth investigating further – connect with Nurture.
  2. Visible worms or worm segments in your dog’s stools, vomit or around their bottom. These can look like small, white, rice-like grains or longer, spaghetti-like strands.
  3. Changes in stool such as diarrhoea, constipation, or abnormal in colour, consistency, or odour. Persistent changes could indicate an underlying health issue, including worms.
  4. Visible signs of irritation and discomfort such as scooting their bottom along the ground or excessive licking around their bottom.
  5. Lethargy & weakness and a general lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed. Worm infestations can drain your dog’s energy levels, making them unusually tired or sluggish.
  6. Potbellied appearance (swollen abdomen) due to the presence of a large number of worms in their gastrointestinal tract. This can be a sign of serious worm-related health issues and should be addressed promptly – Connect with us.
  7. Dull, rough coat and overall poor condition after being robbed of vital nutrients.
  8. Persistent coughing, difficulty breathing and lethargy in the case of lungworm.

If you notice any of these signs in your dog, get in touch with our team as soon as possible so we can arrange for proper diagnosis and treatment. With timely intervention, most worm infestations in dogs can be effectively treated, allowing your pet to regain their health and vitality.

Download our guide to spotting fleas

While you’re focusing on keeping your dog healthy and free from worms, don’t forget about another common parasite: fleas. These tiny pests can cause itching, discomfort, and even transmit diseases to your dog. Download our guide to spotting fleas to help you keep on top of these too.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to protecting your dog from parasites like worms and fleas. By staying vigilant and seeking veterinary care at the first sign of trouble, you can help ensure your canine companion enjoys a happy & healthy, parasite-free life.

Download and share our guide to spotting fleas

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