Nearly every dog, especially puppies, will present an internal parasite (worms, as they are known) at some point. Although almost every pet owner is aware of the risks, including transmission to humans, internal parasites are still very common.
Pets that roam or have constant access to the outdoors are at higher risk, but that doesn’t mean inside pets can’t become infected, too.
A regular deworming program is essential not only to protect your dog’s health but also to reduce their shedding of parasites in the environment.
So, what type of internal parasites does deworming protect them from?
Roundworms are one of the (if not THE most) common internal parasites around. Did you know that Toxocara canis (the most common roundworm in dogs) infects almost every puppy when they’re born? They can become infected while still in their mother’s womb. Scary, huh? Even though adult parasites thrive in the gut, their life cycle progresses through the puppy’s liver and lungs. If you discover your puppy is having trouble breathing, roundworms are one possible cause. A severely infected puppy could lose its life due to complications of the lungs.
Hookworms are greyish white or pinkish worms with a slightly bent head that forms a hook shape. They are bloodsucking parasites that attach to the intestinal wall and cause anemia and protein loss with moderate to severe consequences. Puppies become infected when they ingest infectious worms or are penetrated, through the skin, by worms. Infection happen silently with no visible symptoms. You will not know the exact moment your puppy becomes infected.
Whipworms are less common, but still account for a large amount of infections diagnosed by veterinarians in older pups and adult dogs. They cause severe symptoms with diarrhea and visible blood in the stool. Not a fun thing to have lying around the intestine.
These flat-bodied parasites are also a hazard for dogs. If your dog has a flea infestation, chances are they they will swallow a few fleas who are infected with another parasite form. Whaaaat?!? Yup, a parasite carrying another parasite. Nature went crazy with this one.
Most of these pesky worms can be transmitted to people, especially children, mainly by way of environmental contamination from eggs or larvae. But do not fret! Direct contact with well-cared-for dogs and cats is not considered a major risk for most of these diseases. As long as your pet’s deworming program is up-to-date, your pup and your family will be protected.
You can always use the Petable app to remind you when it’s time to give your pup that deworming pill and continue to keep the WHOLE family safe. #bePetable
Author: Petable Team