The Top Sign Your Dog in Abilene, Texas Has Worms
Does your dog in Abilene, Texas have worms? Check out this guide to learn about worms in dogs in Abilene, Texas.
Did you know that there are five main types of worms in dogs? Multiple species of this parasite can all threaten your dog's health. That's why it's so important to learn the signs of worms in dogs.
Dog worms don't need to cause serious health issues. But when left untreated, they can. You need to get your dog proper care if they have worms, and the sooner you get them treated, the better.
But how can you know when worms give you a reason to take your dog to the vet? A few key signs can actually show you what's going on internally with your dog. Here are the main ways to tell if hookworm, whipworm, tapeworm, or another type of worm is plaguing your pet.
Unexpected, unexplained weight loss can definitely show that your dog has worms. These parasites make it harder for dogs to get nutrition from their food.
Of course, many other things can cause weight loss. If your dog is losing weight gradually and naturally due to factors like old age or a diet, you probably don't need to worry about worms. But if the weight loss is sudden, rapid, and unexplained, see your vet for a diagnosis.
Whether or not they come with weight loss, appetite changes can also show that your dog has worms.
Some dogs with certain kinds of worms will start eating less. However, other dogs might start eating more after they get worms, since they can't get as much nutrition from their food. Either way, this is a good reason to get your dog professionally checked out.
One of the clearest (and least pleasant) signs of worms in dogs is when you can actually see the worms.
Sometimes, you might see them stuck to your dog's coat. But they're more likely to be seen in fecal matter. Looking for worms in dog poop isn't fun, but it can help you figure out whether or not worms are causing problems for your pet.
Sometimes, dogs with worms develop a cough. However, this tends to happen with an advanced worm problem. If your dog has a cough, don't delay seeking out treatment.
Itching and Irritation
Even though worms live internally, they can also cause external problems for a dog, if the infestation is severe.
Your dog might start having itchy, irritated skin. You might notice your pet scratching more than usual, perhaps even scratching bald spots in their fur. Lots of issues can cause this problem, but only your vet can rule out a serious worm infestation as the cause.
Less Shiny Coat
Worms can also affect your dog's coat, as well as their skin. The skin irritation can lead to a dull appearance in a coat that was once lush and shiny. These changes might come with patches of missing hair, or even a rash, due to the irritation.
Dogs with worms often don't have as much energy as they used to. Since worms can make it hard for dogs to get nutrition from their food, they might feel lethargic no matter how much they eat. Plus, the physical discomfort of having worms can also zap a dog's energy.
It's important to know what your dog's normal energy level is, so you'll be able to tell if it changes. Some dogs tend to stay very active, while others are naturally lower-energy. But if you notice a gradual or sudden energy drop, that's definitely a sign of worms in dogs.
Dogs with worms will often start vomiting or having diarrhea. This can also contribute to nutrient loss, weight loss, and lowered energy levels.
Some dogs with worms, especially puppies, will take on a round, bloated appearance. This is different from weight gain: only the abdomen will appear bigger than normal.
Scooting on the Ground
Worms often cause itching on a dog's bottom. If you see your dog scooting its bottom along the ground, worms may be the culprit. And if they aren't, you should still see your vet to fix any other underlying medical issue.
No Symptoms at All
While these symptoms often show up in dogs with worms, it's also possible for a dog to have worms and show no sign of it at all.
That's why you also need to take your dog in for regular vet check-ups. During those checkups, a fecal examination can ensure your dog doesn't have worms. Catching a worm infestation early can prevent more serious medical issues later on.
Why Dog Worms Must Get Treated
Worms in dogs is a common problem. Most dogs will have worms at some point over the course of their lives. So why is such a common problem such a big deal?
Many worm infestations aren't serious. But when you don't treat them, they get worse. And as they get worse, they can cause serious problems that affect your pet's intestines, lungs, and even heart.
Dogs can die from untreated worms. They can even spread worms to humans, which can be dangerous, especially for children. But the good news is that treatment for worms is easy, especially if you catch the problem before it gets worse.
Worms in Dogs: What to Do If You Think Your Dog Has Worms
While it's not hard to treat a dog for worms, many symptoms of worms are similar to symptoms of other illnesses and issues.
Only your vet can help you figure out what's truly going on. Your dog may even have worms combined with other medical issues. A good vet who knows your dog well can help your pet stay healthy and safe.
Need veterinary care in the Abeline area? We can help -- contact us to book your appointment today.