Parasite top trumps: Know your dog worms

This is the yukkist game of Top Trumps you will every play! Dog worms are unpleasant and uncomfortable for your dog and in some cases can make your chihuahua really ill or even be fatal. Here we take a look at the most common dog worms.

Being able to spot the symptoms of infection will help you keep your chihuahua healthy. A  sign your dog may have worms can be when your chihuahua drags his bottom on the floor.  You can keep on top of worm infection by sending off samples of your dog’s poop to a lab for a worm count. they can check for all the worms your chihuahua is likely to pick up, including lung worm. 

The other option for making sure your dog is free of worms is to administer a monthly worming tablet. You can buy them from the vet. But not every dog owner is comfortable with medicating their dogs in this way and prefer to do a test and medicate if it’s needed. 

(Toxocara canis & Toxascaris leonine)

Infected by eating the worm eggs from the environment.

Signs of infection: Visible in your dog’s poo or vomit and will look like thin white strands. It can be passed to puppies from an infected mum.

Power: To cause diarrhoea, lethargy and intestinal blockage. In server cases worms can migrate to other organs.

(Dipylidium caninum)

Picked up fleas or by eating other infected hosts.

Signs of infection: White grains that look like rice that can be seen moving around your dog’s anus or in his poo.

Power: Can cause intestinal blockage.

(Ancylostoma caninum)

Nasty little gits that bury themselves in your dog’s intestinal wall and suck blood. Signs of infection are diarrhoea and vomiting, weakness and pale gums.

Power: Can be very dangerous for young puppies and can be life threatening. If you are buying a puppy make sure the breeder has wormed it. Puppies bred on puppy farms often are not wormed and get sick very quickly.

(Trichuris Vulpis)

Picked up by eating eggs from the environment. Adults live in the wall of the large intestine. Less common in the UK.

Signs of Infection. Not so easy to see unless your dog passes a clump in his poo.

Power: Causes inflammation and bleeding of the large intestine..

(Angiostrongylus vasorum)

Getting more common in the UK. Picked up by eating infected slugs and snails. The larvae live in the lungs and the adults live in the heart and blood vessels.

Signs of Infection. Can be confused with other illnesses. Coughing and bringing up blood, sickness & diarrhoea, stomach & back pain.

Power: A severe infection can be fatal especially in young dogs. Know where lung worm is in your area. 

(Dirofilaria immitis)

Spread by insects such as mosquitoes. Not so common in the UK yet.  Adults live in the heart.

Signs of Infection: Weight loss, difficulty breathing, bulging chest, inactivity and weakness.

Power: Can cause heart failure.

If infected your our dog will need antibiotics, steroids and a series of injections from the vet.

There are also some natural alternatives to chemicals to support your dog against common worms. We will talk about this in the post; Ten Superfoods to Protect Against Worms

Understanding dog worms is important and not a reflection on how you look after your dog. They can pick up dog worms from eating stuff while they are out on a walk. Just make sure you keep your eye out and test your dog regularly.


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