How Do I Know If My Dog Has Worms?
If your dog is fully grown, it’s not always obvious when they have worms, so you might not know for sure. Symptoms for intestinal worms are more obvious in puppies: They might vomit or have diarrhea, and may also have a pot-bellied appearance and a dull coat. However, almost all puppies are born with roundworms, so even those that appear healthy will usually have some worms inside them.
Heartworms are more often diagnosed in adult dogs. These are worms that actually live inside your dogs heart, causing coughing and exercise intolerance.
Which Worms Should I Worry About?
Roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm, whipworm and heartworm are the primary culprits in dogs, though this can vary depending on the area where you live. Your pet’s lifestyle will often dictate which parasites pose the greatest risk. For instance, dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors can be at greater risk for getting worms.
A: You have to be very careful. Most flea and tick products arenât safe for puppies and some could even kill them. Itâs best to talk to your veterinarian if you have this problem. The vet can give you something safe for your puppy and tell you how to administer it correctly.
A good rule of thumb is you should be able to fit your index and your middle finger under the collar pretty easily. It needs to be tight enough that it doesnât slip off but lose enough that the puppy has room and isnât choking. If you have a collar on your puppy, just be sure you check it regularly.
A: Yes, itâs good to keep a collar and tag on your puppy for identification purposes in case it gets lost. But you have to check it almost daily because puppies grow so quickly that the collar can end up choking them if itâs not adjusted as they grow. We have had to surgically remove collars from a dogâs neck. People put a collar on a puppy and then forget to adjust it, and as the dog grows the collar doesnât. And these arenât just dogs that are outside tied to a tree. Iâve seen it happen to dogs that slept with their people every night. The owners just didnât think to adjust the collar. Itâs something people overlook.
Also, any abrupt change in a puppyâs diet is going to cause the puppy some gastrointestinal upset. So try to find out what the breeder or adoption agency was feeding them and try to keep them on it. Or, if you have to change it, try to do so over a four- or five-day period by mixing the old food with the new food. If you change it quickly, youâll have problems.
A: Not all puppies, but it is very common for puppies to have roundworms or hookworms, either passed in utero or through a mothers milk. Because worm infection is so common, we normally deworm puppies just to be safe. Fecal samples might not show parasites, but itâs so common that itâs almost irresponsible not to deworm a puppy.