Intestinal worms are shocking and disgusting things to witness for the first time.
If your dog has white worms, you should first do not worry: these parasites are very common in dogs. Getting them is easy, but removing them is easy too.
Types of intestinal worms
There are several routes of transmission ranging from ingesting worm hosts to inheriting worms at birth.
These worms are thick and round, and occur in most puppies.
Long nematodes are usually spread before birth or through feces, hosts, and mother's milk ingestion. This parasite causes vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss in the carrier.
However, the small round variant (0.5 to 2 mm) is the most dangerous. It can be contracted through the ingestion of breast milk or larvae.
Since the worm can suck enormous amounts of blood, the carrier will suffer from hemorrhagic diarrhea, anemia, thinning and pain. The good news is that their shape and size make them easy to distinguish and treat.
Whipworms or trichurids are 3 to 5 cm parasites that consume the blood of their host.
This variant of the nematode has a characteristic whip-like shape (thick in the front half and thin in the back half). It circles the dog's intestines and stomach until it finds mucosa in which to latch on, feed and reproduce.
If only one dog has contracted this parasite, all dogs in the area may be next hosts: it can live for years in the open. It is commonly found in the feces of infected dogs, water and wasted food.
It can cause anemia, abdominal pain, hemorrhagic diarrhea, and weight loss like roundworms.
The flatworm, known as a tapeworm or cestode, is one of the most common and harmless parasites out there.
This worm can grow up to 2 m long and is sectioned into small flat capsules. Despite its large size, this parasite is, in most cases, harmless. Many people and animals contract cestodes throughout their lives without even realizing it.
Depending on the variant, cestodes are contracted in different ways. Ingestion of raw meat and fleas and ticks is the most common transmission route.
While rare, flatworm can cause intestinal discomfort leading to diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss.
Nephrops hookworms carry a terrible reputation: they cause extensive damage to the dog's small intestine.
Although most intestinal worms do not cause severe symptoms, this parasite should worry you. They measure between 12 to 30 mm and have a toothed mouth capsule that allows them to attach themselves to the intestinal walls of their host.
Because of their teeth, they often produce several rather unpleasant symptoms. Progressive anemia, dehydration, bloody diarrhea, intestinal bleeding, and poor blood circulation.
If your dog has fever, it means that the worms are spreading through your dog's body in search of another organ. It is rare, but it can even cause the failure of other organs such as the lungs or pancreas.
This set of symptoms can be lethal. So if you find parasites and your dog suffers a lot of symptoms related to blood loss, it is necessary to visit a veterinarian.
Giardia and Coccidia
Although these parasites are not visible to the human eye, they are still a nuisance to be aware of.
Giardia are tiny parasites that are transmitted in the same way as trichuridae. The difference between this is that it only presents symptoms in puppies and dogs with weak immune systems.
The affected dog will regularly have very foul-smelling feces and gas along with weight loss and, rarely, bloody diarrhea.
In parallel, coccidia is another type of parasite that affects the same dog population and can only be seen through a microscope.
This species causes the same symptoms as nematodes, adding bloody or mucous diarrhea. They are also contracted like giardiasis: through infected feces, water, or spoiled food.
It should be noted that some parasites can be contracted in humans as well, while others cannot. For example, a dog can transmit cestodes to its owner, but not coccidia.
Also, while most intestinal worms never cause symptoms, any worm can be lethal if it forms a colony inside your pet.
How do I get white worms out of my dog?
Now that you know for sure if your dog has white worms, we can move on to the deworming process.
Amazingly, many plants, fruits, and vegetables work wonders when it comes to fighting an intestinal infestation.
The best home remedy against worms is pulverized raw pumpkin seeds. These seeds are composed of alkaloids that purge any vermin inside the intestines. It is necessary to administer one tablespoon for every 4.5 kg that your dog weighs.
Another practical solution is garlic. Like pumpkin, it contains alkaloids that eliminate any white worms your dog may have. However, garlic, in large quantities, can intoxicate your pet. Therefore, he should never eat more than two cloves.
Black walnut is very effective for more severe cases but unpleasant for your pet. The extract of this plant is exceptional for eradicating bacteria and parasites under the premise of irritating your dog's stomach.
If the wrong dosage is given, black walnut can become toxic.
If nothing has helped you so far, it is time to consult a doctor to evaluate which dewormers to give your dog.
Although there are many ways to administer dewormers, the most effective method will always be compressed tablets. The tablets act directly in the intestine and completely eradicate the worms.
No matter how knowledgeable you are in the field, never buy medication for your pet without a prescription. A poorly chosen medication, or a poorly administered dose, can worsen your pet's health tremendously.
Remember that worms in dogs will be a minor issue as long as you keep an eye out for symptoms, so don't hesitate to take your pet to a doctor's office for any strange behavior!