I’ve worked as an Animal Health Technician for eleven years and there are plenty of parasites our pets can pick up. Here are a few of the more common worms that infest our dogs.
- Round worms: these include Ascarids, whip and hook worms. Most puppies have Ascarids which they get from their mother. Hook and whip worms are difficult to get rid off and difficult to detect. All look pretty much like spaghetti when they are severs enough to be passed in your dog’s stool. Ivermectin is still a good drug to get rid of these pests. Be aware however that some breeds of dogs are sensitive to this drug and it can kill them. Collies are one such breed that should be tested for drug sensitivity before you use this. This blood test is performed by your veterinarian.
- Tape worms: These pests come from your dog ingesting a flea carrying the worm eggs. When bad enough the worms are passed in the stool in long strings which looks like flattened spaghetti. Usually they are shed in the feces as separate segments. When freshly passed they look like maggots without a head. When they have dried they look like rice. The best medicine comes from your vet. Tapeworms are also hard to get rid of and store bought meds are not strong enough to get rid of this pest.
- Heartworms: Don’t try to treat this yourself! The pills that prevent heartworms will kill any adult worms in the dog and this can lead to a massive blockage in the heart and kill your dog. Your vet must first do a blood test to determine if your dog actually is already infested. If your dog has heartworms, this is a hospitalized treatment to safely get rid of the worms. Only after your dog has been determined not to be infected or has been treated to remove the worms should you put your dog on the preventative program.