In detail

Worms in dogs: symptoms and diagnosis

Worms in dogs can manifest themselves in different ways. The decisive factor for the type and expression of the symptoms is how strong and how advanced the worm infestation is. It is also important to know what kind of worms it is and how old the animal is. You should consult a veterinarian for a clear diagnosis. A tired, weakened dog could suffer from worms - Image: Shutterstock / Reddogs

Worms are widespread internal parasites, also called endogenous parasites. Normally every four-legged friend gets to know annoying troublemakers at least once in their life. The different types of worms can affect different regions in the dog's body. If you recognize the following symptoms in your dog, you should go to the vet with him.

Identifying worms in dogs: symptoms

Worms in dogs are not always easy to spot, but are particularly dangerous for young dogs who can easily become infected with roundworms. You should pay attention to the following symptoms: The animal appears generally weak and loses weight. The four-legged friend can show symptoms of illness such as vomiting, skin irritation, cough, bloody diarrhea or a bloated stomach.

Itching on the anus, which manifests itself by sliding with the buttocks over the floor, is as clear a sign of the disease as the excretion of visible and rice-grain-like tapeworm members. Bowel obstruction, anemia and inflammation are signs of advanced worm infestation. A visit to the vet is urgently needed here.

Overview of possible symptoms:

• weakness and fatigue
• weight loss
• Itching on the anus (compulsive anus)
• Bloody diarrhea
• Frequent vomiting
• Skin and eczema irritation
• Bloated stomach (often the case in puppies)

If the worm infestation has progressed, the symptoms mentioned so far can be particularly difficult and the following signs and sequelae can appear:

• Severe emaciation
• Bowel obstruction
• Chronic diseases such as inflammation in the intestine
• irregular heartbeat (the case with heartworms)
• anemia

To prevent this from happening, go to the veterinarian as soon as possible, who will make the diagnosis and then start the right treatment for worms in the dog.

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Important: diagnosis by the veterinarian

If worms are suspected, the veterinarian first performs a microscopic examination of the dog's droppings to define the type of worm. Because the worm eggs of some types of parasites are excreted irregularly, it may be necessary to carry out several tests to rule out a misdiagnosis. If the dog shows symptoms of worm infestation but no eggs can be found in its faeces, a blood test is usually done. This can also detect pests such as heartworms. After the careful diagnosis, the veterinarian then determines the necessary treatment steps and the general rule is: the faster a worm infection is detected, the better the prognosis for an early recovery of the dog.