Everything You Need to Know About Dog Intestinal Parasites for Oak Park Pet Owners
Intestinal parasites are not an uncommon issue with dogs in Oak Park, IL. They can come from a variety of sources, and if your dog is afflicted by one, that doesn’t necessarily mean he has been eating something he shouldn’t—although it might.
As long as it’s caught and treated early, however, an intestinal parasite should not pose a major threat for your dog. Leaving this type of problem untreated can become very dangerous, so get your dog to the vet if you think he may have a parasite.
Read through the information below to find out more about parasites in dogs. You’ll find information on symptoms to be on the lookout for, potential parasitic problems, and treatment options to consider if your dog is diagnosed.
Dog Intestinal Parasite Symptoms to Look For
Below are some common symptoms to look out for in your dog that could be signs of intestinal parasites.
- Scooting in order to scratch the anus
- Ravenous appetite
- Weight loss with no other potential causes
- Visible worms in your dog’s stool or on his bed
- Weakness and lethargy
Possible Parasites That Could Infect Your Dog in Oak Park
We’ll go over some of the common types of parasites that could infect your dog in Oak Park. Read on to learn more.
There are many ways a dog can contract hookworm parasites. Most of the time, the problem begins when a dog eats the eggs of the hookworm, either by cleaning himself or ingesting feces or dirt that may contain them.
Hookworms quickly latch onto the dog’s intestines and stay there, consuming blood from the dog as long as they are present. If a dog suffers from a hookworm infection for too long, he may loose too much blood and become dangerously ill.
You will need to have your vet test your dog’s stool for hookworm parasites.
Roundworms are often found in puppies, but they can be present in a dog of any age. You may see them in your dog’s stool yourself, as they are large enough to be visible by the naked eye. If your dog has a roundworm infection severe enough that you can see the worms in his poop, it’s time to get to the vet.
Other dogs in the household may be at a high risk for picking up roundworms from the infected dog. You may want to try keeping the sick dog away from the others as much as possible.
Human children can also pick up a roundworm parasite from interacting with an infected dog.
More often than not, tapeworms are spread by fleas. When a flea that is carrying the egg of a tapeworm bites your dog, the egg is transferred to your dog’s blood stream and travels to his intestinal tract. However, he can also pick up tapeworms from eating trash or dead and rotting animals.
If you notice what looks like pieces of rice in your dog’s stool, this is most likely a tapeworm infection (unless of course he has been eating rice within the last day or two).
Although it’s called a “worm,” ringworm is not actually a living organism, unlike many of the other parasites on this list. It’s a type of fungus that typically infects puppies and young dogs. It is possible for dogs with previously compromised immune systems to pick up a ringworm infection at any age, however.
This parasite causes large round patches of irritated skin. Where these patches are present, your dog is likely to lose his fur. Neglecting to treat this type of parasite quickly enough may cause these patches to spread to most of the skin.
It is possible for a dog to pick up a whipworm infestation very easily. Even so much as just sniffing the soil where eggs are present can introduce the parasite into your dog’s system. From there, its eggs will travel to the dog’s intestines, where they will eventually hatch and infect the dog.
It can be very difficult to see this worm in your dog’s feces. Many owners do not notice, since they’re very small worms. Your vet will need to check your dog’s stool sample to determine whether or not he has a whipworm infection.
This is one of the few parasites on this list which is not potentially fatal to dogs. Even so, it can cause health problems, so it’s still important to get your dog treated in a timely manner.
Like ringworm, giardia is not a worm; however, it is also not a fungus. It’s a type of parasite that can potentially be present in your dog’s intestines for years before causing a problem. If something else happens to make your dog sick or stressed, then the giardia will take their chance and may quickly take over.
Giardia can be spread to other dogs as well as to cats in the household. Keep the sick dog away from any other family pets for best results.
This parasite can spread in water, food, and feces.
Dog Intestinal Parasite Treatment Options for Oak Park Pet Owners
Different parasites will require different types of treatment. However, all of these treatments will be prescribed by your vet.
Your vet will give your dog a medication that will need to be administered for a while in order to get rid of the parasites. Then, their stool will be checked a second time to ensure the infection has cleared up.
Many intestinal parasites can be prevented with regular medication or simply by making sure your dog’s space stays clean. Keep your garbage tightly lidded so your dog cannot access it, and try to prevent your dog from eating the feces of other animals whenever possible as well. A little prevention goes a long way when dealing with parasites in your dog.
Steer Clear of Intestinal Parasites in Oak Park
Now that you’ve had a chance to read through the information above, you may be ready to talk to your vet about your dog’s potential parasite issue. Remember that it’s important to schedule a vet appointment sooner rather than later if you think your dog may be suffering from a parasite.
This way, you’ll be able to get him started on a treatment plan before things get out of hand, and before the parasite has a chance to cause any lasting damage.