Careful! If Your Dog Has Worms, You Could Too
Wondering whether or not your dog may have worms is not a pleasant feeling. Worms just sound gross and definitely don't sound like something we want our dogs to have. Worms are actually an intestinal parasite that can be found in dogs and cats. While there are five types of worms that dogs may get, roundworms are the most common type. In fact, they're so common that nearly all dogs will have roundworms at least once during their life.
Roundworms eat food that is partially digested in a dog's intestinal tract. Worms can easily be passed from one dog to another when they come in contact with another's dog's feces and lick their paws or ingest the worms' eggs in some other way.
It's Gross to Think About, But These Worms Can Be Passed to You
Unfortunately, worms can also be passed from your dog to you, or other members of your family. You can become infected if you come in contact with dog feces or soil that has been contaminated with worms or worm eggs. Children are the most likely to be infected with worms, since they are more likely to put their fingers in their mouths after coming in contact with contaminated feces.
It is possible for worms to live in a person's intestines for as long as two years. They can become very thick and may even grow to be longer than a foot. Worms in your intestines reproduce quickly. 200,000 eggs or more can be laid by each female worm. The worms' eggs will leave your body when you have a bowel movement.
Be sure to always wash your hands after handling dog feces!
Signs Your Dog Could Have Worms
There are a few different signs your dog has worms for you to look out for. If you notice any of these warning signs, be sure to make an appointment with your veterinarian.
#1. Vomiting or Diarrhea
Vomiting or Diarrhea could be a sign that your dog has worms. In some cases, you may be able to see the worms in their vomit or feces. However, this is not always the case, so you'll want to call your vet even if you don't see any worms.
#2. Bloated Belly
Some dogs with worms have a bloated stomach. When a mother dog passes worms to her puppies, it is more common that the puppies will look more bloated than usual. If you notice this, mention it to your vet during their initial puppy check-up to make sure this isn't the case.
#3. Changes in Appetite
Changes in appetite, either eating more or less than normal, can also be an indication that your dog may have worms. You know your dog best, and their routine is basically the same every day, so you will be the first to notice if their eating habits are changing.
Worms are no joke. If you think your dog has worms, be sure to contact your veterinarian. Also, if you think you may have come in contact with contaminated feces, schedule an appointment with your doctor as well.
Has your dog, or anyone you know had worms? If so, how did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments below!
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