How can I know if my dog has parasites
Parasites in dogs are very common if the animals were not de-wormed and if preventive measures have not been taken. However, it is also possible that your dog may have parasites even if all preventive measures have been taken, as parasites are found in the places you often take your dog, like the woods, gardens, and even in their food. There are two general types of parasites, external and internal. The first are fleas and ticks, whereas the internal type can be worms or other microscopic parasites. If you're worried that your dog may have any of them, read this OneHowTo article and discover how to tell if your dog has parasites.
External parasites correspond to those that live in the dog's fur. Some of them are hosted on our dog to feed on their blood, such as fleas, ticks, lice, bedbugs, black flies and mosquitoes, in particular. Others do not bite but produce other infectious, annoying and dangerous skin diseases that must be urgently addressed, such as scabies mites, screwworm or grubs, among others.
In general, common external parasites in dogs are fleas, ticks and scabies mites, but others can also affect your dog. To find out if your dog has fleas, read this article and discover the details. Here are the keys to know if your dog has ticks. You will see that itching and sharp scratching is one of the common symptoms of all external parasites, if you see your dog doing these things go to the vet immediately.
Internal parasites are more difficult to identify than the above, as they reside in the internal organs of your dog. In general, they tend to stay in the intestines, lungs, kidneys and muscles and feed on their blood, nutrients, etc. You should know that common internal parasites are roundworms and flatworms, but there are others which are very common in dogs, such as coccidia, giardia and tapeworms.
Roundworms are the most common of all internal parasites, and are likely to be found in the intestines, but can also migrate to the respiratory system, causing gastrointestinal and respiratory problems, in particular. They are long and round and tend to spread through faeces, breast milk in the case of puppies or even during pregnancy if the mother was not wormed and is infected with these parasites.
Flatworms are short and have a flattened body. Their favourite organs are the small intestine, gallbladder, liver, mesenteric veins and hepatic pathways. This type of parasite is also often eaten by other external parasites such as fleas, who lay eggs inside them. Thus, as well as being transmitted through faeces they can spread through fleas.
In both cases, the parasite eggs exit through the faeces of dogs, which is why this is the main source of infection. The dog doesn't need to ingest them, smelling them is sufficient to infect them.
Symptoms of internal parasites
Common symptoms of dogs with internal parasites are:
- Diarrhoea, in severe cases accompanied by blood
- Cough (if parasites found in the respiratory system)
- Voracious appetite (they devour food as they haven't before)
- Weight loss
- Bad mood
- Dry, worn and unsightly fur
- Frequently licking its anus
- Walking sitting and scratching the anus
- Eczema (not always)
- Stool that is abnormal, less consistent and a similar size to a grain of rice
- In some cases, fertility disorders and anaemia
- Bulging belly
If your dog shows any of these symptoms you should go to your veterinarian to conduct a stool analysis and tests, to diagnose the type of parasites that your dog has and provide the most appropriate treatment. If your dog is a puppy, you have to be more careful, because their immune system is weaker and these parasites can even cause death.
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