Treatment of Tapeworms in Dogs
There are six different types of worms hat can infect your dog: roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, heartworms, and lungworms. Most vets seem to concur that are no effective home remedies for any of the kinds of worms that infect dogs. Below is a brief description of the various types of worms and the recommended treatment.
The tape worm is a ribbon like parasite of the intestines. It is composed of segments that carry eggs, and these break off and passed via the anus. They can be see with the naked eye, like moving grains of rice around the anus or in the stool. The parasite can be a serious competitor for food, and an affected dog can lose weight very rapidly.
Intermediate stages in the tapeworm life cycle are harbored by small prey animals such as mice and cottontail rabbits. Fleas can also carry the infection, which means that a dog with fleas may also have tapeworms.
The hookworm is also a parasite of the dog’s intestines. They are slender worms about 1/2 inch long. Despite their small size, a large number of them can take a significant proportion of the dog’s blood per day.
Eggs from a dog’s feces settle on the ground, and the larvae hatch and survive on moist vegetation or soil. They can infect means of ingestion or via the skin. In addition, like roundworms, hookworms amay infect a puppy in utero. These worms may also infect humans.
This parasite inhabits the intestines, usually in puppies, and produces a pot-bellied appearance in the pup, with a dry, scurfy coat. Loss of weight and conditon and eventual emaciation are more advanced signs.
Puppies are infected in utero, as a result of larvae migrating through a pregnant mother’s tissues into the womb. All puppies should be assumed to be infected from birth. You vet will advise on an appropriate deworming program.
Unless a puppy or dog vomits an adult worm or passes one in feces, clinical signs or microscopic examination of the stool for eggs are the only methods of detection.
Larvae have been known to infect humans and it is therefore important to keep your dog clear of roundworms. Regular laboratory examination of feces is sensible, especially if there are babies or toddlers living the household.
Heatworms are small, parasitic, threadlike roundworms that travel through the bloodstream and, in the final stages of life, reside in the heart of their host. They can destory heart muscle, resulting eventually in heart failure, and can cause serious heart disease in dogs if an infection goes untreated. Infection occurs via the bite of a mosquito.
This parasite affect the lungs and is acquired by eating slugs or snails.
Whipworms are miscroscopic worms that inhabit a dog’s colon. A heavy infestation can cause anemia. the stool may also contain blood or mucus. A dog can pick up these worms by taking in infected food or water.
According to Christopher Day writing in the book Natural Dog Care conventional chemical dewormers are generally very effective, if correctly chosen. There are natural dewormers on the market, but there is no published proof of their efficacy. Herbs that are well known for their reputed worm-destroying action are wormseed, lad’s love, southerwood, santonin and cat thyme (for roundworms), and pomegranate and male fern (for tapeworms). It is recommended to seek the opinion of your holistic vet, if you wish to try natural dewormers. In the case of those parasites that have migratory stages within the dog’s tissues, there is a chance that a nosode (see our post could be make and may help to prevent or treat infestation. This is a poorly researched area, but your holistic vet should be willing to discuss the options with you.
Watch this quick video on “How to Tell if your Dog has Worms”