Parasites in dogs are a common, but curable problem. Many dogs will get them at some point in their lives. Digestive parasites are those that live in a dog’s digestive system. Symptoms run a wide range of severity, from minor discomfort to acute illnesses. Some dogs exhibit no symptoms at all.
In this article, pet parents will learn about the signs of digestive parasites in dogs so that they can get their dogs the care they need as soon as possible and avoid significant health complications.
Types of Digestive Parasites in Dogs
There are many different types of parasites. Parasites are organisms that need a host to survive. Their survival typically comes at the expense of the dog’s health. Pet parents are fairly familiar with fleas and ticks, which are external parasites. Several other types of parasites can take hold in a dog’s digestive system. They include:
Digestive Parasite Symptoms in Dogs
Many dogs that pick up digestive parasites are asymptomatic. In other words, pet parents might never know there’s anything wrong until their dog’s next routine exam with their vet. Owners might also be alerted to parasite issues while picking up after their dog during a walk. Unlike external parasites (such as fleas or ticks), which are visible to the naked eye, digestive parasites aren’t readily noticeable.
Other dogs will exhibit signs that something isn’t quite right. Some of the most common symptoms of digestive parasites in dogs include:
Vomiting and diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Distended abdomen
- Poor coat health
Lifestyle is a significant contributing factor in the risk of contracting digestive parasites. For instance, dogs that go hunting or camping with their pet parents are more likely to contract them. Dogs not on any deworming or heart-worm prevention treatment are also at an increased risk.
If a pet parent notices any of these symptoms, they should schedule an appointment with their primary vet right away. The vet can perform a thorough examination and recommend an appropriate course of treatment and prescription medication if necessary.
For dogs with poor coat health, a vet may recommend a dog skin and coat supplement to help improve the overall health and appearance of the dog’s fur. A good dog skin care routine can also be beneficial.
Further Advice on Prevention and Treatment
If pet parents notice any symptoms of digestive parasites, they should schedule an appointment right away. While problematic if left untreated, most parasites are easy to eliminate. Regular vet visits can help pet owners detect their presence before they become a significant issue. A vet can also provide dog health advice so that pet parents can prevent more parasites in the future.
Pet parents can get the help they need with an online vet. Access to Fuzzy's 24/7 live vet chat gives pet parents a way to get dog health advice and recommendations for skin and coat health for dogs at any time. With professional help, they can help to ensure that their dogs stay healthy, happy, and parasite-free.