Dog Training and Dog Care advice from UK Professionals

Why Do Dogs Get Worms?

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Worms are parasites that live inside a dog’s intestines. A parasite is an organism that lives off another living being. All dogs, no matter what breed or whether puppy or adult can catch worms.

As worms live inside the dog they can go unnoticed for many months. The first sign of an infestation of worms is the dog scooting its bottom across the ground as it tries to rid itself of the itching the worms cause, or the dog will constantly lick its anus.

A heavy infestation of worms can produce symptoms such as a dull and lifeless coat, swollen abdomen, vomiting and diarrhoea.

There are different types of worms. The most common types are either roundworms or flatworms. Puppies have Ascrids, a particular sort of round worm that is transmitted in the uterus from the mother to the unborn puppies. They can also be transferred to nursing puppies through the mother’s milk.

The larvae settle in the intestines where they can grow up to 5 inches in length. The adult worm sheds 100,000 eggs a day which are passed out of the dog in the faeces. If the dog then licks around its anus it is reinvested with the same worms and the cycle is repeated.

Adult dogs become infected with Ascrids from ingesting the eggs on contaminated soil or from eating a dead animal such as a rabbit that has a worm infestation.

You can prevent your dog getting worms by cleaning up its faeces and by using a suitable worming medication. Generally prescription only worming medication is far more effective than products bought over the counter, although we do not promote routine worming as we feel routine drug and chemical ingestion is more harmful than routine natural existences of worms. In the event of an infestation however, veterinary assistance and medication is usually needed and recommended.

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