Tapeworms are another very common type of dog worms. There is more than one type of tapeworm.
Dipylidium tapeworms are the most common type and can be spread by fleas.
Your dog actually needs to swallow the flea, but this isn't difficult or unusual.
When your dog is grooming himself, or licking himself or another dog, it's easy for him to swallow these tiny parasites!
Your puppy or dog can also 'catch' a different type of tapeworm (Echinococcus) by eating part of an animal who has tapeworms, from eating the feces of a tapeworm infected animal (including other dogs), or from eating raw meat.
Tapeworms are shed in your puppy or dog's feces... they're usually in segments which look a lot like single grains of white rice. They're usually still 'mobile' at this point. Ugh.
If you check Fido's poop you will most likely be able to tell whether or not he has tapeworms.
It's not unusual for a pup/dog with tapeworm to show no outward symptoms, at least during the early stages of infestation.
Symptoms of tapeworms in dogs include:
Unusual licking of the anus, genital area
'Scooting' (dragging the bottom across the ground to relieve the itching)
Worm segments around the anus, either moving, or yellowed and dead
Diarrhea (uncommon, but possible)
Weight loss even with a good appetite (also uncommon, but possible)
As with all worms, the definitive test needs to be done at your veterinarians office. You need to know exactly what type of worms your puppy or dog has so that you get the correct medication to treat it.
Tapeworms can be transmitted to people, children are especially at risk.
The most common type of tapeworms are not usually a big health risk to humans and can be effectively treated with the right medications (your doctor will know exactly what to prescribe).
But there is a variety (E. Multilocaris and E. Granulosus) which can cause serious health problems and even death in humans so again, good hygiene is a MUST. This is very rare, but is possible.
Treating your puppy with an effective topical flea preventative is very simple and effective way to protect both your puppy, and your family, from tapeworms.
Whipworms are more common in dogs than most people think, perhaps in part because they're difficult to diagnose.
They get their name from their distinctive shape. Thicker at the front, and long and very narrow at the rear... like a whip.
These worms don't shed a lot of eggs, neither to they shed segments of themselves (the way tapeworms do. In fact even veterinarians have difficulty diagnosing whipworms from stool samples, it often takes several tries to get a positive result.
Whipworm eggs are very hardy and can remain infective in dirt/earth for years. Public areas and dog parks are prime locations for infestation.
Your pup or dog is at risk of catching whipworms if he eats something that's been in contact with contaminated soil or feces, or the soil/feces themselves.
Symptoms of whipworms in dogs can include:
Chronic diarrhea (this is most common). Often contains blood and/or mucus
Inadequate weight gain, growth and development
Anemia (in severe cases)
To treat a case of whipworms effectively, the right medication needs to be given, and then repeated at specific intervals (usually over a period of months) in order to get rid of all the worms who are at different stages of development.
Some canine worms can also transfer themselves to the human family members.
Roundworm and tapeworm eggs can be ingested (ugh) usually by children who have a tendency to pet the dog and forget to wash their hands afterwards.
Encouraging exemplary hygiene is a great way to prevent this from happening.
Hookworms can burrow through human skin and if your dog has hookworms and uses your yard as his toilet, there will be hookworms in your soil.
It's always a good idea to make sure there is no barefoot walking in the yard if you have dogs.
When worms normally found in one species infect another, often the symptoms are quite different.
The most common signs of a worm problem (predominately dog worms) in people include:
Swollen lymph nodes
Skin rash or itchy skin
Swelling around the eye, eye inflammation or vision changes
Any, or all, of these need to be taken seriously and if you're at all worried then make sure you have get a doctor's appointment quickly.
Of course, these symptoms can also be caused by a lot of other illnesses and diseases, and kids are well-known for the number of 'bugs' they can bring home.
But if you have a puppy, dog, cat or kitten that your child plays with and who hasn't been properly (or regularly) treated for worms, and your child shows any of the above symptoms and tests negative for other illnesses, a parasite problem isn't out of the question.
Luckily, your doctor can diagnose a worm problem and treat it with the correct medication fairly easily. BUT the sooner the better to avoid potentially dangerous consequences.
Pinworms and Children
Kids can get Pinworms (aka Threadworms) and Fido is NOT to blame for this.
Humans are this worms natural host and ogs don't get them.
Pinworms are tiny (only a couple of millimeters long, and very narrow), and their eggs are even smaller and symptoms include soreness and itching around the anus.
A child scratching at an itchy bottom and then touching their fingers to their face/mouth, can start the whole cycle all over again.
These tiny eggs also cling to underwear, clothing, bedding and so on.
Luckily, treatment is simple with the right medication from your doctor.