Internal parasites in dogs – Contagion, symptoms and treatment

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dog with intestinal parasites

Our beloved puppies spend all day sniffing and mosquitoing anything that is found on the ground, something habitual and healthy but that carries a hidden danger, the well-known intestinal parasites also called worms.

All, absolutely all dogs suffer when they are parasitic puppies in their intestines, so it is very important to deworm them so that they can have a normal and healthy development.

Adult dogs are not spared either, although we keep their environment totally clean it is more than usual that they become infected with parasites at various times throughout their lives. Something that does not pose any danger as long as we treat them correctly to eliminate them.

Index of contents

  • 1 Symptoms in dogs that have intestinal parasites
  • 2 Types of intestinal parasites in dogs
    • 2.1 Nematodes in dogs, known as roundworms
    • 2.2 Cestodes in dogs, known as flatworms
    • 2.3 Lambias intestinalis in dogs, known as giardias
  • 3 How are dogs infected with intestinal parasites?
  • 4 How to prevent and eliminate intestinal parasites in a dog: Treatments and home remedies
      • 4.0.1 Why do we not recommend the use of home remedies for intestinal parasites in dogs?

Symptoms in dogs that have intestinal parasites

There are many types of internal parasites that our dog can contract, although the symptoms they produce are very similar. So it is easy to detect when a dog has intestinal parasites regardless of the type of parasite.

We must be aware that the parasite infection is evolutionary, that is, our dog may have been infected but have a small number of worms or parasites in its intestines, which will gradually reproduce.

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This means that we may not notice significant symptoms at first, however over time these symptoms will increase considerably, making the dog’s health problem more evident.

The main symptoms of a dog that has internal parasites are:

  • Alternate or continued diarrhea
  • Progressive weight loss
  • Increased appetite even though you lose weight
  • Anal itching (the dog will lick his anus or drag his ass across the floor)
  • Appearance of white dots in the stool, like small grains of rice
  • Fever (in very advanced states)

If you appreciate one or more of these symptoms, it is very likely that your dog has some type of intestinal worm.

transmission cycle of parasites in dogs

Types of intestinal parasites in dogs

We should not be naïve thinking that there is only one type of intestinal parasite and that with a simple pill we can exterminate them. There are actually many types of parasites and they not only affect the intestines, but can expand if not treated by other internal organs of the dog, causing even more damage.

The nematodes in dogs, known as roundworms

They are the most common in terms of internal parasitic infection in dogs, the vast majority of puppies suffer from this type of parasite. Adult dogs do not get rid of it either, being at general levels the most frequent parasite but at the same time the easiest to eliminate.

Roundworms are long and round in size, they lodge in the dog’s intestine and are spread by eggs, like most worms of this type. When they colonize the intestine, they usually try to pass to the lungs, causing serious respiratory problems.

The cestodes in dogs, known as flatworms

Cestodes are known as the set of the family of flat worms that also install the dog’s intestine to feed and reproduce, some of them are well known, such as tapeworms.

They are mainly housed in the small intestine, although they tend to expand colonizing other more important organs such as the heart itself. They are characterized by having a flat, short or elongated appearance depending on the species of cestode.

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Lambias intestinalis in dogs, known as giardias

This type of intestinal parasite is also very frequent in dogs since its elimination is not as easy as with round or flat worms. The giardias are housed in the dog’s intestine, feeding on nutrients.

They have a great reproductive capacity so in just a few weeks our dog will show very significant symptoms, mainly due to anemia and considerable weight loss. You can get more detailed information at: Giardias in dogs.

dog smelling poop

Although these are the most common types of parasites, there are many others less frequent but just as dangerous that can only be diagnosed by a stool and blood test at a veterinary clinic.

How are dogs infected with intestinal parasites?

There are many ways of contagion when our dog contracts parasites, the simple fact of playing with a dog that already has parasites can be more than enough for it to be infected.

Although the most common form of infection is through feces, when a dog smells the feces of another dog that is already infected, it can become instantly infected. It is not even necessary to eat or lick them, smelling them can spread it.

If our dog plays with the toy of a dog that has parasites, it will also become infected with parasites. The larvae of the parasites and eggs are microscopic in size on many occasions and can survive even months in the open before infecting another dog.

dog taking pill against parasites

A dog with parasites can not only infect other dogs if it is not properly treated, it can also infect humans. Humans at a general level have more powerful defenses that will protect us against parasites, but in many cases the defenses can be dedile and infect us.

How to prevent and eliminate intestinal parasites in a dog: Treatments and home remedies

Keep in mind that there are many types of intestinal parasites that affect dogs and that each type of parasite requires specific treatment. This means that there is no treatment to eliminate any type of parasite, but we must first go to the vet, know what type of parasite our dog has and, accordingly, apply the corresponding treatment.

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Puppies with parasites cannot be treated the same as adult dogs, they need much more gentle and specific treatme
nt due to their young age and their developing immune system. Never treat a puppy with the same medication as an adult dog. You can learn more at: How to Deworm a Dog Puppy.

Once the vet has identified the type of intestinal parasite that our dog has, he will give us adequate medication to eliminate it. Some treatments last only a few days, while others, such as the giardias, have treatments lasting several weeks.

The best way to prevent our dog from having intestinal parasites is prevention, there are pills that are sold in veterinary clinics that are administered once every three months to the dog.

With these pills, our dog will be protected against a wide range of common parasites, such as fat and / or flatworms. However, there is no real protection against giardias and other types of parasites, so we must always be vigilant if we observe the aforementioned symptoms.

The home remedies that are usually applied to eliminate parasites in dogs are not really very effective, so we simply do not recommend them. Although we leave them exposed in case they are of interest to you.

  • Garlic
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pineapple
  • Wormwood
  • Carrot

Why do we not recommend the use of home remedies for intestinal parasites in dogs?

Because they are not effective, they only work as preventive and not very effective either. Products that are used as home remedies for intestinal parasites in dogs can be just as harmful as they are beneficial.

If we do not administer the proper dose we can even intoxicate the dog, so it is not really worth risking the health of our dog to save us a visit to the vet.