Worms are parasites that derive nourishment from the host to thrive. In turn, parasites do not provide any benefit to the host, but they do not kill the host either. Worms in dogs normally find shelter in the intestines. If your pet has worms, they can be transferred to humans as well. Spread to humans does not necessarily involve close contact. Humans get infected when the egg-infected excrement is ingested in some form or another. Children run a particular risk of getting infected since they tend to play in the dirt and grass more often than adults, and this could include feces-laden areas.
There are four major types of worms in dogs:
The two to four inch long roundworm is the most common type. Tan or white in color, these spaghetti shaped worms are detrimental to your dog’s general health and appearance. Dogs that are infested with roundworms may vomit them or pass the whole worms in stools. Roundworms can multiply at a fast rate and can even block the intestines making normal bowel movement impossible.
Hookworms are small worms that are invisible to the naked eye and cling to the walls of intestines. They are blood sucking parasites, and a large number of hookworms can cause severe anemia and even death. If your dog is lacking in stamina, performs poorly, and is losing weight, he may be infested with hookworms.
You may notice a quarter or half inch-sized broken segments around the rectum or in the stool if your pet is infected with dog tapeworms . Tapeworms appear to contract and expand when they are alive. Once they die, they look like uncooked rice or sesame seeds. Tapeworm eggs are a favorite with fleas, and in most cases dogs get infected with tapeworms when they swallow fleas.
Whipworms in dogs are difficult to notice as they seldom shed eggs. The prevalence of whipworms can be established in dogs by observing symptoms of worms in dogs. Whipworms cause symptoms like chronic and unmanageable weight loss and mucus covered stools.
Feline parasites can also cause issues for cats. Some types of worms are less common in cats than dogs. Even though worms reside mostly in the intestines, they can create abnormal medical conditions that can even prove to be fatal. Observing stools and vomit are the best way to look for such conditions in your pets. Early corrective measures can prove to be a good insurance against accidental transmission of the contagion to you or your family.