Thursday, 3 April 2014

What should you do if your Dog has Worms?

Our dog is a big part of the family so its worrying she has been losing lots of weight lately.  The vet asked are we worming her and of course I quickly replied with the affirmative.  Well that's until I found out my dad had been giving her one tablet each time thinking that was the correct dosage when in reality he should have been giving her two each time!  She is still a bit on the skinny side, but she is thankfully slowly regaining weight.

Worms or intestinal parasites are an unfortunately common problem in dogs. They can occur in dogs of all ages and breeds, though it’s generally regarded that those most susceptible to contracting them include younger puppies, dogs that spend a lot of time outside (which would be our dog) and those that come into contact with dirt or other infected dogs (she is very anti social of other dogs so that is not usually an issue she just see's her ball and ignores the world around her!).

There are many different types of intestinal parasites and each of them can be extremely unpleasant for your dog and can make them severely unwell and may even lead to death if they are not treated quickly and efficiently.  So do check if you have someone else helping give the medication...

Therefore, spotting the signs and taking the correct action is imperative for keeping your dog happy and healthy, as well as avoiding spreading the parasites to any members of your family or other pets.

How do I know if my dog has worms?

The most common signs that your dog is infected include (but are not limited to):

* Unusual bowel movements; diarrhoea, mucous or blood in the stool, and in some cases you can even see the worms in the stool (gross I know!)

* Loss or change of appetite and loss of weight

* Irritation of the anus or excessive licking of the anus

* Change in the appearance of their coat/fur; it may appear brittle or unkempt

How can I treat them quickly and safely?

If you notice any of these signs in your dog and have never dealt with worms before, your best form of action is to start by taking them to the vet. If you do feel confident enough to treat them on your own (especially if you have had previous experience dealing with them) you can get good products to do so online at sites like Vet Medic as they sell Cestem flavoured tablets.  Being liver flavoured they sound easier to get the dog to actually swallow them!

How can I prevent my dog from contracting worms again?

After ridding your pup of worms, you’ll no doubt want to take measures to avoid them catching them again. There are two main things that you can do to help this:

Sanitation and supervision: If your dog has just recovered from worms, it’s a good idea to sanitise the main things that he comes into contact with and the things he used a lot whilst he was ill, i.e. beds, blankets etc. Wash their beds and spray other less easily cleaned items with pet friendly sanitising sprays. It’s also a really good idea to keep a closer eye on your dog whilst they’re out and about, especially when they interact with other dogs or come into contact with dirt. Stop them from eating unsavoury things we are not great for their health or their breath!

Regular preventative treatments: You can also look into treating your dog with a monthly treatment that will act as a preventative to arm them against intestinal parasites. If there is a specific type of parasite that your dog has encountered, your vet may suggest specific treatments over others, so it’s best to ask them for advice so you know you are buying the best thing possible.

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