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Dog Health: About Worms and Their Side Effects


Your dog's health is a very important part of overall care, and when you have a dog: Worms are a common problem. Puppies tend to get worms more often than grown dogs do. Here are common types of worms puppies and dogs get, and the various side effects that can result:

In general, puppies or dog's with worms can become sick. Symptoms include weight loss, weakness, being listless, having an upset stomach, not growing well, and sometimes even lung and breathing problems.

A puppy who's extremely thin could be having health problems with worms. A very shoddy looking coat is another sign of health problems, and even a potbelly could be an indication the puppy is worm infested.

Grown dogs may not show any outward signs when they have worms, but unfortunately they tend to spread them more than puppies do, because they pass large amounts of worm larvae, or eggs, through their feces.

There are several different types of worms that can jeapordize your dog's health: Tapeworm, roundworm, ringworm and heartworm are the most common.

Tapeworms have flat, segmented bodies and can sometimes be seen as rice-like segments or chains in the droppings of your dog or puppy. These are a common type of dog health problem, and they tend to be combined with flea infestations. Because of this, you'll often find dog health remedies that treat both fleas and tapeworms together.

Roundworms (toxocara) live and produce hundreds of eggs in the intestine, and are easily passed onto children.

Roundworm eggs are very hardy, resistant to heat and cold, and can survive up to 7 years in the soil. The eggs can pass on to children through ingestion and cause them to fall sick as well.

As a precaution, it's a good idea to train your dog or puppy to use a bathroom area which is not played in by children. Having a specific area also makes it easier for you to pick up and dispose of the droppings safely. Also be sure to have children wash their hands after handling puppies, and teach both the children and puppies to not lick on the hands or face.

All dogs and puppies should be "de-wormed" every 6-12 months, depending on the area you live in. Consult with your veterinarian for the best schedule in your area.

A variety of all natural health care pet products are available as well. See http://www.mypetanimals.com/Pet-Health-Care/ for additional information and resources.

2005, Kathy Burns-Millyard

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