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Tapeworms are caused by a dog’s eating vermin already infected with tapeworm, or from fleas that contain tapeworm eggs. Hookworms and Whipworms thrive in damp soil and the dogs most at risk are those kept on grass runs, especially in warm, humid conditions. Collecting a worm is far more helpful to your vet than describing it, since most worms have similar physical appearances to the naked eye. Scoop a sample of feces with a popsicle stick or a disposable spoon and place it in a clean, screw-top container that has a tight-fitting lid (your vet can provide you with a container specific for this purpose if you don’t have anything appropriate). Store the sample below 30 degrees Celsius and drop it off at the vet clinic when you can (the sample does not have to be especially fresh to have evidence of worms. The vet may run the fecal analysis, which involves examining a smear of feces under the microscope to look for worm eggs or larvae, or she may send it to an outside lab for assessment. Lungworm and heartworm can interfere with blood clotting and so some dogs show the alarming symptom of uncontrolled bleeding after a minor injury. With worm eggs the differences can be subtle, such as the shape being oval instead of round, of having a plug at one or both ends. Some worm infections can ultimately lead to a dog’s death, particularly with heart or lung worms. Keep your dog away from warm, grassy areas shared with other dogs who have not been de-wormed. If any worm infection is left untreated for too long, the infestation could eventually result in death. This version of How to Identify Different Dog Worms was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on January 16, 2015.
If your dog is lethargic or even less active than he usually is, then it might be due to worm infestation.
Dogs will be infected with tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, heartworms or even whipworms. Remember that you can now share your experience with fellow dog owners at the very end of the page. Conversely, the Ringworm actually is not a worm (despite its name!), the Ringworm is a fungal skin infection. Conversely, heartworm disease in dogs is common and severe: Heartworm ultimately leads to lung failure, heart failure, and other organ failure - in short: death of the dog!
People and dogs consuming vegetables or fruits that have not been carefully cooked, washed or peeled! Very few dog owners have the education to relate a worm disease (which is only discovered months to many years later!) to an individual dog meal served months or years ago - of which the dog will have consumed many, possibly two each day.
Obviously, in all warm and moist countries around the globe, heartworm infection of dogs and other animals is an issue (because of the many mosquitoes in such conditions).
Finally, some worms (particularly the hookworm and some fluke species) can even penetrate the skin (animal and human)! However, for us humans to get infected that way, we would need to wallow in infected feces (ie rest half-naked on soil that some dogs considered the public toilet - unlikely), or walk barefeet over such soil (more likely, particularly for kids), because our human skin is thicker than canine skin, thus it is not as easily and as quickly penetrated. Light worm infections may grow unnoticed, with no noticeable symptoms for months to several years (depending on the type of worms).
I suspect you don't want to let it come that far, hence let's look subsequently at some early worm signs. The oldest, weakest segments are then shed off from the worm's end - either one by one or in short chains - and leave the dog's body with the feces. The vet won't necessarily diagnose tapeworm infection from a stool sample anyway, because the segments are only passed intermittently, ie not with every defecation. Today's kids are so smart, they know how to compare what they see under the microscope with googled photos of the different types of worms.
Although the subsequent types of worms are roundworms too (see the image at the top), let's address them separately because of some specifics.
Hookworms in dogs typically also attach to the intestinal lining, and these worms suck blood from the small vessels in the lining! Note that it is these worms (the dormant ones) that are guilty of infecting puppies of a seemingly healthy mother dog.
Hookworms are more common in puppies than in adult dogs, however a hookworm infection may be newly acquired by any dog, eg when the dog is merely licking its feet after an outdoor walk, or breathing the microscopic eggs while sniffing other dogs' feces or contaminated soil!
Whipworms in dogs attach to the lining of the large intestine, and they cause small tears that result in bloody feces and bloody Diarrhea.


Since, again, whipworm eggs are passed with the stool only intermittently (and thus won't be found in a single dog stool sample), I suggest you save another $100 on the vet's diagnosis and rather let your kids detect the eggs under the microscope (or if you don't have kids and no neighbors, you may want to do it yourself). In short: The early warning sign of an infestation with intestinal worms is found in the dog's feces. In other words (short too): If your dog is worm-infested (because you are not regularly deworming, see below), then worm eggs (and possibly even worms, see above) will fall off in your house too - and onto your couch (if your dog may occupy the couch) - and into your bed (if your dog may sleep with you). Heartworms in dogs do not affect the intestines but the blood vessels in heart, lungs and other organs (see above). However, since a heartworm infection can take several years before the microfilariae mature into adult heartworms (which then block the blood vessels), the only early warning sign of a worm infection here is a serological antigen test (ELISA, SNAP) from a blood sample. But even then you can't feel safe because a dog with (yet) less than four or five adult heartworms may not have produced enough circulating antigen to show a positive test result (ie to identify the heartworm infection). The above schedule is for when you start socializing your puppy early (like you should, see the Puppy 101 or Ian Dunbar's After you get your puppy ), because then your pup will be exposed to a lot of worming risks already at a young age. Your dog's living environment is a factor for dog deworming too, because obviously a German Shepherd kept as a shepherd dog (getting into contact with lifestock feces and fleas and mosquitoes) bears different risk than a German Shepherd kept on an indoor couch.
Pregnant dogs (bitches) should not be treated with a particular dewormer unless the label clearly permits it.
Further you can read that you may divide deworming products sold for large dogs into several doses to be used on small dogs.
The concentration typically is much higher in a product sold for large dogs than in a product sold for small dogs! Thus, if you plan to give your GSD a medicament with this ingredient, make sure you first have your dog tested for this gene defect! A worm infection can grow unnoticed for many years(!), but if untreated, many worm infections ultimately lead to earlier death of the dog! Stay with us, and we can make sure that your GSD will stay with you, both of you healthy and happy! Please note: If you are ever unhappy with anything we write, do or don't do, we want to be the first to know. Well, one stool sample rarely is enough to show worms, they only show up every so often, and some worms don’t show up in feces at all. Thanks Tim for another very informative,well researched article.I have let worm issues slip from my radar,thanks so much for reminding me. Because worms can look very similar, one of the best ways to identify the type of parasite that is plaguing your dog is to understand the environmental or situational factors that most lead to each type of worms. These infections are more common in kenneled dogs that have access to communal grassy runs. Sometimes, even in an asymptomatic dog, you may see physical evidence of the worms in the dog’s feces. Worms either live in or transit through the gut, thus at certain stages in their life cycle evidence of infection is passed out in the dog's feces.
Some worms that cause serious illness, such as lungworm or heartworm, can be diagnosed on a blood test.
Sometimes the best way to diagnose the types of worm is to document the risk factors for the dog.
If worms or worm parts are visible in the dog’s feces or vomit, you may be able to identify the type of worms.
The length varies with the species but averages from 50 centimeter (19.7 in) to 250cm long.
Because worms, particularly tapeworms, absorb nutrients from the dog’s food and make less available for the host, worm-infested dogs may have poor fat cover over their bones but swollen bellies due to the excessive worms in their gut.
Particularly if you live in a high-risk area with many mosquitoes, you should give your dog a monthly heartworm preventative.
Because some worms are transferred by fleas, keeping your dog free of fleas with a regular flea treatment can help him stay free of worms as well. Ensuring that your dog stays away from environments that are most conducive to worms can help eliminate the need for de-worming.
Speak to your doctor if you're concerned that you or any family members may have contracted worms. And the Pinworm (although a worm) does not use dogs as host (but humans, particularly children!).
With flukes, all three worm life stages are pathogenic for the host (animal or human), with tapeworms and all types of roundworms the eggs are not (yet) pathogenic.


Unless you are regularly deworming your pup (see below), your pup too has worms - although you don't see them, hear them, or smell them. However, worm infections should always be taken serious since at some point they typically become severe.
There, they grow in length by growing new segments behind the worm's head which then move down the tapeworm as they gradually mature.
In fact, hookworms and whipworms (next) are considered the most 'obstinate' of all types of worms: It's difficult to get rid of them with old-school medicaments that don't reach the dormant larvae. Hence a whipworm infection is the most persistent worm infection to affect your dog's living environment!
More so: When an infested dog farts, worm eggs (and with strong farts even tapeworm segments) will be catapulted out into the open. As you know, I love to save dollars myself, I always go for the cheapest source - but without compromising quality. You must not copy, spin, or otherwise change our content in order to republish it in your name, another one's name or without a name. But a stool sample test for dogs doesn’t cost much, so I always get that tested anyway. Whilst each type of worm has a slightly different life cycle, the dog’s symptoms can be consistent with different types of worm infections.
Thus, it is not possible to diagnose what sort of worms a dog may have, based on symptoms alone. If you are not completely confident in worm recognition, collect the worm in a screw-top container and take it to the vet clinic for identification.
In a heavy infestation you may see actual worms in the feces, but this is less common if mild infections.
Young children who become infected with roundworms may experience damage to their eyesight.
While many worms look similar, each has some distinguishing characteristics that may allow you to pinpoint the worm variety.
Their small size tends to make them appear translucent, and they can be more difficult to see without close examination.
The classic appearance of a wormy puppy is a bony, ribby dog with a potbelly and a dull coat. They will be able to examine the worms or eggs under a microscope and have experience identifying minute differences between worm types. An infection with a great number of adult worms, known as a “heavy” infection, can have adverse effects on a dog’s overall well-being, so identifying worms before the infection becomes “heavy” is the best approach.
A precise worming protocol depends on the individual pet's risk factors, and is best discussed with your veterinarian.
The first article he worked on was How to Make Baseball Cards, and his favorite has been How to Make Caffe Medici. You won't notice your pup's worms - until the worms or larvae significantly impact on the pup's health (eg with the heartworm this may happen four months after infection, but can also happen as late as 5 or 6 years of age). If you see such tiny spots moving on the feces, you have the diagnosis - without having forked out $100 to the vet! Thus you would need to collect some feces with a glass slide , put another slide on top, and place it under the microscope. By using lifestock products on dogs, or by dividing a German Shepherd dog dose into several Chihuahua doses, I would not only compromise product quality but product safety. Thus, it is not possible to determine what sort of worm your dog has based on symptoms alone, and tests may be necessary.[1] However, knowing the general symptoms, risks, and characteristics of different types of worms can help you treat and care for your canine friend. However, signs in a dog that has not been wormed recently should raise suspicion of worm infection and trigger an investigation into what sort of parasite is present. In either case, puppies as young as 11 days may then pass fertile eggs from adult worms in their feces.



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