There are five different types of worms: tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, heartworms and whipworms. Your dog will display different symptoms depending on what type of worm infection he has, so it’s important to recognise the signs and apply the right dog worming treatment when necessary.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms look like flat ribbons and are made up of small segments. These segments can break off and be passed in your pet’s faeces. If you suspect your dog may be suffering from tapeworm, look closely at his faeces as these small segments can be visible (they could look like grains of white rice).

Signs your dog may have tapeworms include:

  • Gradual weight loss
  • Itchy bottom
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dull coat
  • Extra licking of anal area

Roundworms

Roundworms are more worm-like in appearance than some of the other types of worms which can infect your dog. They may look like a piece of cooked spaghetti and can grow up to several inches long. Roundworms can be passed between dogs. It is quite common for dogs to be born with worms as they contract them from their mothers.

Signs your dog may have roundworms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • A ‘pot belly’
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness

Hookworms

Hookworms are similar in appearance to roundworms, but have teeth at one end. This allows them to ‘hook’ onto your dog’s intestine. Hookworms are parasites which survive by sucking blood from your pet, which could put your dog at risk of anaemia.

Signs your dog may have hookworms include:

  • Constipation
  • Dry cough
  • Dull coat
  • Weight loss
  • Stomach ache

Heartworms

As the name suggests, heartworms affect a dog’s heart. They are transferred to dogs by infected adult female mosquitoes. In most cases, by the time your dog displays any of the symptoms associated with heartworm, the disease has progressed to a very advanced stage. Fortunately, the infection can be picked up in routine blood tests.

Signs your dog may have heartworms include:

  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Breathing problems
  • Dull coat
  • Enlarged abdomen

Whipworms

Like hookworms, whipworms are bloodsucking parasites. However, these are particularly difficult to identify as they can’t be seen by the naked eye. Your dog is most likely to contract whipworms by coming into contact with other dogs’ faeces. This could be as simple as your pet licking his paws after walking on ground where infected faeces lie.

Signs your dog may have whipworms include:

  • Blood in faeces
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Licking of stomach area
  • Gas

Lungworms

Although not as widespread, lungworms can also affect dogs and are emerging as a more common problem in many dogs, particularly in the UK. If you suspect your dog is suffering any type of worm infection it is important to treat him immediately with the rightpetmeds. Dogs should ideally be wormed every three months.

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