The Worms Strike Back

Just like back in December, about three weeks after de-worming Nix, she got worms again. Just like the previous time, we have no clue as to how she got them: we think it’s either prolonged contact with other dogs which may be infected or some of the rubbish she’s eaten sometimes at the beach.

Looking cute, but she can be such a pig sometimes. Fortunately, she usually isn’t.
Transmission

Normally, worms are transmitted by eating the eggs. These eggs may be in the saliva or faeces of other infected animals (dogs, mainly). So, if your dog has little contact with other dogs, it’s highly likely that he won’t have worms. As far as I remember, none of my other two dogs got worms, but they had almost no contact with other dogs as they lived in the countryside (see sidenote below this paragrah). Note that I still recommend deworming regulary, to avoid any nasty surprises.

Sidenote: Despite the fact that my other two dogs never had any worms, they had other problems due to lack of socialization. The first dog, Desi, was so scared of other dogs and unsual situations that she’d go crazy, bark and become aggresive. Syd, on the other hand, would run back home on our walks when she was scared, so it was really risky to unleash her. So I think it’s much better for your dog to socialize regularly, even at the risk of getting worms, than just keeping them from the experience of having fun with other dogs.

Looking for Worms

If your dog has never had worms, you may wonder how you can tell. This time, we actually saw what looked like one dead worm in her faeces (it was curled up, so it couldn’t have been a small stick or branch). You can see a picture of the diarrhoea and the worm here, but I wouldn’t check it unless strictly necessary. In constrast, the last time she threw the worms up and it was even more disgusting, as they were alive. I wonder though if we would have noticed the worm in her poo, had we not had the previous experience.

Treatment

The usual treatment is: administer de-worming pills as soon as possible, and then repeat after a couple of weeks to ensure the success of the treatment and that all the larvae are killed. After administering them for the first time , the dog may still throw up or have diarrhoea for a few days (3 or 4).

Back in December, Nix threw up a dead worm about a couple of days after giving her the pills, but that was it. This time, she had diarrhoea on Saturday, we then gave her the pill with her supper, and she’s had also a little bit of diarrhoea today (Sunday). However, we’ve noticed some improvement, as yesterday she actually asked us to go outside because she was feeling unwell. Today she hasn’t needed to, and she hasn’t had as much diarrhoea as yesterday.

How Bad Is It?

From the vet’s reaction to the news, I’d say it’s pretty usual for dogs to get worms and, if dewormed immediately, it’s nothing to worry about. Still, if left untreated untreated for a long time, they can prove fatal.

For a list of potential symptoms of worms, you can check this link. Be aware, though, that they may not necessarily indicate that your dog has worms – best check with your vet.

How much do I need to clean?

As I’m a bit of hygiene maniac, I’ve washed all of Nix’s toys and her bed, including the small backpack we use to carry her toys around. I prefer to be safe than sorry. I’m not sure how necessary it is, though.

All toys drying in the morning sun.

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