Dog Worms

Dog worms are one of the most detrimental things to a dog's overall health. Not only can worms eat away at the intestines, but they can also consume other organs, such as the heart, and make them ineffective in their abilities to act normally. Worms are dangerous no matter where they are located throughout a dog's body; yet when worms target the heart, they cause the eventual shutdown of all organs relying on the heart for blood and oxygen.

The cycle of dog worms is a vicious one and one of the best ways that a dog owner can combat them is to be aware of the different types of worms that dogs are susceptible to getting. Here the two most common types of worms in dogs.

Roundworms in Dogs

By far and wide, the most common type of worms that dogs become infected by is roundworms. Roundworms are one of the major types of intestinal worms which consume the intestines when a severe infection is present. Once the infection of roundworms becomes prevalent, they begin quickly attaching themselves to the lining of the intestines and begin eating away at it for sustenance.

Roundworms are most often contracted through eating feces or dirt. The eggs of roundworms can live in the soil and are also passed through the gastrointestinal tract in a dog that is infected with them. So, it is relatively easy for dogs to come into contact with this type of worm.

A dog that has roundworms will usually have some diarrhea and vomiting; but as the infection progresses, the dog will begin to show a significant loss of weight and an extremely decreased appetite. This happens because roundworms can actually block the intestinal passages, making it difficult for dogs to eat and digest food.

Tapeworms in Dogs

There is only one way that a dog can contract an infection from tapeworms; by eating an infected flea. Fleas are notoriously known for carrying the eggs of tapeworms. So, when a dog has a flea infestation, or maybe just a few fleas, he is susceptible to contracting tapeworms. All that a dog has to do is lick his body while grooming and if he ingests a flea, the possibility of having tapeworms becomes very real.

Tapeworms usually average out at around one-half inches long and resemble in appearance that of a dried out piece of rice. However, it is important to know that tapeworms can grow to be as large as three feet in length; which is terribly destructive the intestinal tract of a dog.

Tapeworms are extremely destructive because they actually eat the food that passes through the intestinal tract as their own form of sustenance. The problem with this is that when the tapeworms are being fed, a dog is becoming malnourished; which is ultimately one of the major causes of death related to tapeworms.

Most dogs with a tapeworm infection will experience diarrhea and vomiting, as well as an increased hunger. As the food is being taken over by the tapeworms, it leaves a dog lacking for fullness; which essentially makes him want to eat more. However, while a dog is theoretically eating more, he will be loosing an excessive amount of weight because he is not able to absorb the nutrients in his food.