Pet Health - Dog Worms
Wormy Dogs? - Understand Dog Worms
Infestation and Their Symptoms
by Moses Chia
Until a very recent period, dog worms were thought to
be of a spontaneous origin, brought about by the influence
of heat upon decaying vegetable matter, and it was and
still is freely asserted that puppies are born with dog
worms inherited from the mother in some mysterious manner
while still in uterus. This has been conclusively proven
an error and in the minds of all scientists there is no
question about dog worms springing from individual eggs
and having a complete life history of their own.
The principal worm species with which dog owners have
to contend are round worms and tape worms. The first named
commonly infest puppies and consequently are most dreaded
by breeders. In shape and size these worms resemble common
angle worms, but in color are lighter, being almost white
or only a pale pink.
In adult dogs these worms, when full grown, are from three
to seven inches long. In puppies they are about half that
length, and as thick as common white string. Round worms
live in the small intestines, sometimes coiled in such
masses as to obstruct the passage, and occasionally they
wander into the stomach or are passed by the bowels.
It is easy to understand that when one dog in a kennel
is infected with worms, millions of eggs will be passed
with the feces. These are scattered all over the floors,
bedding, feeding and drinking pans. They get on the dogs
coat, are licked off and swallowed and in numbers of ways
gain entrance to the digestive tracts of other dogs, where
they soon hatch out and in ten days are fully developed.
This rapid development account for the popular belief
that puppies are born with worms, for breeders who have
held post-mortems on puppies scarcely ten days old and
have found in their stomachs fully developed round worms
could account for their presence in no other way. They
overlooked the fact that the prospective mother, confined
in a kennel infested with worms, would get these eggs
attached to her coat, belly and breasts, and the young,
as soon as born, would take these eggs into their stomachs
with the first mouthfuls of milk.
Symptoms Of Dog Worms Attack
Dog worms are responsible for so much sickness and so
many symptoms that it is practically impossible to mention
all of them, but their presence can safely be suspected
in all dogs which have not been recently treated for them,
as well as in cases where the patient is run down, unthrifty
and out of sorts.
Other symptoms are a hot, dry nose, weak, watery eyes,
pale lips and gums, foul breath, mean hacking cough and
a red, scurfy, pimply or irritated condition of the skin
and harsh, dry, staring coat that is constantly being
Wormy dogs sometimes have a depraved appetite and will
eat dirt and rubbish. Some days they are ravenously hungry,
the next day they will not eat at all; their sleep is
disturbed by dreams and intestinal rumbling, the urine
is high colored and frequently passed, bowels irregular,
stomach easily unsettled, watery mucus is frequently vomited
and the mouth is hot, sticky and full of ropy saliva.
Puppies which are full of worms bloat easily and are pot-bellied.
After feeding their stomachs distend disproportionately
to the amount of food consumed. Their bodies are also
subject to scaly eruptions and their bowels to colicky
pains; they do not grow as rapidly as healthy puppies
should and instead of playing with each other they curl
up and sleep hour after hour; they get thinner, weaker
and more lifeless from day to day and if they do not waste
away or die in fits and convulsions with frothing at the
mouth and champing of the jaws, grow up coarse-jointed,
rickety and misshapen. Puppies with worms are also liable
to paralysis of their rear limbs and on removal of the
worms the puppies regain control of the affected parts.
A wormy dog is usually an unhealthy and unhappy dog who
leads a miserable life. It could even be deadly, especially
so for young puppies. Bring your dog to a veterinarian
if you are unsure. Your dog will certainly thank you for
About the Author
Moses Chia is a dog lover and owner of DogsObedienceTraining.com
The dog training resource site for a happier and
healthier dog. You are welcome to reprint this article
if you keep the content and live link intact.