Worms are internal parasites that live within the intestines.
There are several types of worms – Hookworm, Tapeworm, Whipworm and the most common, Roundworm. Possible signs that your dog has worms include: weight loss, always hungry, bloated abdomen, dull coat, pale gums, diarrhea or vomiting.
Roundworm often infest young puppies. They are similar looking to spaghetti, but wiggle, are off-white in colour, and often visible in stools. It is imperative that they be treated as these worms can be transmitted to humans.
Tapeworms attach themselves to the wall of the small intestine. Egg sacks can often be seen around the anal region as white rice-like segments. The can be caught from infected meat (hydatid) or from fleas. Treatment should be immediate, as tapeworm can be very debilitating. Vigilance is needed with dogs which live in sheep districts, especially if they are in contact with children, as there is a higher risk of hydatid infection.
Whipworm are quite common, but usually cause no symptoms. They can infiltrate deep into all areas of the body, including lungs.
Less common is the Hookworm. It can cause severe anaemia by sucking the hosts blood. Both can be difficult to eliminate once established.
Dietary aids include Garlic which helps eliminate parasitic worms and Cider Vinegar which helps discourage worms. The addition of Copper into the diet via a food source such as Kelp or Organ Meat is also recommended.
Copper sulphate is an excellent cure to help get rid of worms. Recommended dose for a large dog with tapeworm is half teaspoon of dolomite with 1/4 teaspoon of copper daily for three consecutive days.
Carrots are high in Vitamin A which is essential to the prevention of roundworm (needs to be grated or processed)
Check all new pets coming into the household for worms. If one pet is diagnosed with worms, treat all other animals, as pets easily pick up worms from smelling or eating other animals faeces.
Healthy dogs who receive all their minerals and vitamins from their food, should not have too much trouble with intestinal worms. Keeping their digestive tract free of mucus, making an unfriendly environment for worms, being the key.