How do I recognize worms in dogs? What kind of worm medications are there? And how can I support my animal's digestion after a worm treatment?
The worm is in here: There is a risk for dogs to become infected with worms through sniffing in nature or flea infestation. Worms primarily settle in the intestines and deprive the four-legged friend of nutrients there.
In order to be best prepared for worm infestation in dogs, it is important to obtain comprehensive information about the parasites and deworming dogs: What types of worms are there? How does the worm get into the dog? What are the signs of worms in animals? What should I do if my dog has worms? And how can I support my animal's digestion after a worming treatment - we'll explain!
What types of worms in dogs are there?
Tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms: There are many different types of worms that can infect your dog. The most common ones in Germany include:
💡 Good to know: There are also so-called heartworms , which are often found in dogs from the Mediterranean region and are transmitted by mosquitoes.
How does the worm get into the dog?
Good question! Here, too, there are many different ways in which your dog can become infected with worm eggs or larvae. Below we have listed the most common causes of infection:
- Sniffing : Your four-legged friend can become infected with worms by sniffing the feces of other infected dogs
- Food/Water : Through direct ingestion of food contaminated with feces or water containing worm eggs or larvae
- Skin : For example, hookworms can burrow through the animal's skin
- Fleas : The flea serves as an intermediate host for tapeworms. If your dog bites a flea, the worm larvae can enter the gastrointestinal tract
- Mosquitoes : As mentioned above, mosquitoes (for example the Asian tiger mosquito) can transmit heartworm larvae when they bite, which then develop into heartworms
Worm infestation: Signs of worms in dogs
It is difficult to tell whether a four-legged friend has worms. Adult dogs in particular usually show no signs. However, they may have come into contact with worms and therefore pose a potential danger to other members of their species.
You can recognize worm infestation in your animal using these possible signs :
- Diarrhea, “slimy” stool
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Itching of the anus (“sledding”)
- Blood in feces
⚠️ As the stage progresses, vomiting as well as noticeable changes to your animal's skin and fur may occur.
💡 Misconception : Many people are of the opinion: "If I don't see any worms in the dog's feces, then there aren't any!" That's not true! Just because we can't (always) see the worms with the naked eye doesn't mean they aren't there. Worm eggs and larvae are mainly excreted in the dog's feces and can only be seen under a microscope.
My animal has worms – what should I do?
If you notice one or more of the possible signs mentioned above in your dog, it is advisable to have your four-legged friend examined by a veterinarian . To detect worms in the animal, the veterinarian examines the dog's feces under the microscope. To get an accurate result, you should collect fecal samples from your dog over three consecutive days, as worm eggs or larvae are only excreted irregularly in the feces.
If the veterinarian detects a worm infestation, he or she can suggest a suitable procedure to rid your dog of the annoying parasites.
Possible approaches against parasites include:
- Spot-on preparations
- Deworming pastes
Prevention: natural deworming for dogs
As an alternative to standard deworming - which is usually recommended at least four times a year - it is advisable to regularly take a sample of the dog's stool to the vet. If the test is positive, the four-legged friend is dewormed - unfortunately there is no way around it. However, if no worm eggs or larvae can be found in the feces, then the animal does not need to be dewormed.
Good intestinal flora: Supports digestion
A worming treatment can have a real impact on your four-legged friend's stomach. Worm medications attack the four-legged friend's gastrointestinal flora. That's why it's so important to strengthen the dog's intestinal flora . Good digestion also offers protection for your four-legged friend.
In order to harmonize the gastrointestinal tract and stomach well-being again, we recommend that you:
- Herbs such as licorice, walnut leaves, sheep's wort and chamomile
- Bland food and, if necessary, probiotics
- Supportive supplementary feed