Heartworm and intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms often hide in plain sight. Find out how your Chihuahua could pick up worms and how to aid them.
1. Eating worm eggs or worm larvae
Many parasites live in the grass and soil outside your home, and some parasites – like hookworms and roundworms – can survive there, making it easy for your dog to pick up these parasites when he’s outside sniffing around, exploring, and playing with toys. For example, roundworm eggs can pass into the soil from the feces of an infected animal and lie dormant for a year or more, and your dog can accidentally ingest these worm eggs, which can lead to a parasitic infection.
2. Hunting behavior
If your dog likes to hunt, it’s possible to catch worms from other infected animals, such as rodents, birds, sheep, and other animals infested with worms. Keep an eye on where your dog roams and prevent scavenging.
Dogs can also contract worms when grooming themselves. Roundworm eggs can attach to your dog’s coat, and a new roundworm infection may develop if your dog swallows these when grooming.
4. From fleas
Swallowing fleas when grooming can lead to tapeworm infestations, too. Fleas can carry tapeworm larvae, which, when swallowed, develop into adult tapeworms in the dog’s intestine. Keep up with your regular flea prevention program to reduce the likelihood of a parasite or, even worse, a flea infestation in your dog and home.
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5. From mother to pup
Roundworm, the most common worm affecting pets, can be transmitted from an infected mother to the unborn puppies in her womb via the placenta.
An infected dog can also pass roundworms and hookworms to her puppies during nursing. This means that suckling puppies are at risk of continual exposure to these parasites.
Roundworm and hookworm infestations can be severe in young puppies and even fatal in extreme cases. This is why regular worming treatments for dogs, young and old are so important. If you have recently adopted a new dog, check with your vet to see when you can begin worming treatments for your puppy.
6. From mosquitoes
Unlike the intestinal worms mentioned above, heartworm is passed to dogs from mosquito bites. Heartworm can cause many serious health issues in dogs, including a persistent cough, fatigue after exercise, fainting spells, decreased appetite, and weight loss. In some cases, it can result in death. Find out more about how to protect your dog against heartworm.
As you can see, worms are found in your dog’s environment daily. It’s critical to ensure you deworm your pet regularly. A worming treatment like Drontal® protects your dog from a broad spectrum of intestinal worms, including roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm. The monthly spot-on treatment Advocate® treats and controls intestinal worms, including roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, and prevents heartworm.