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Filed in Dogs, Health

If you're a dog owner, you've probably seen your pet drag his backside against the ground. Not only is this embarrassing in front of company, it isn't healthy for your dog. Chances are, your dog has worms. There are several different types of worms and it's important for dog owners to know the difference.

Hook, Pin, and Round
Hook, Pin and Round Worms (aka "butt" worms) are usually transmitted through feces, although in many cases dogs inherit them from their mothers. If your dog is dragging its backside, or if it is suffering from diarrhea or bloating, your dog may have worms. Worms can leave dogs susceptible to contracting highly infectious diseases, so it's crucial to get them treated. Fortunately all three of these types of worms are treatable over the counter.

Tapes worms are also classified as "butt" worms, however, they are usually a more serious threat to dogs than the three types mentioned earlier. Tapeworms are contracted when dogs ingest flea eggs, which is common with flea infestation cases. The way to check for tapeworms is to visually examine your dogs stool. If you see tiny rice-shaped particles, odds are they're tapeworms. Unfortunately tapeworms cannot be treated over the counter and they require a visit to the vet.

One of the most dangerous types of worms are heartworms. These worms live in and around the heart, and are contracted from mosquito bites. Heartworms are harder to diagnose than "butt" worms, but there are ways.

Two of the most notable indicators of heartworms are chronic coughing and fatigue. If such symptoms persist you should take your dog to the vet. Once there, your dog will undergo a blood test to determine if in fact your dog has heartworms. You may want to consider a preventative program for heartworms if you live in an area where mosquitos are present. Be sure to discuss this option with your veterinarian. Heartworms cannot be treated with over the counter medicine.

Keep in mind that your vet is your best source of information about worms. If you suspect that your pet is displaying the symptoms of worms, consult with your vet immediately.

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