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How does a dog get worms?
How does a puppy get infected with worms?Almost all puppies suffer from worms, more specifically roundworms. This is because many adult dogs have been infected with this type of worm earlier in their lives. Roundworms are then in a so-called resting stage in the dog's body. As soon as the dog is pregnant, these worms 'wake up'. Pups can become infected with roundworms in their mother's stomach via the placenta. They can also become infected through their mother's milk once they are born.
How does an adult dog become infected with worms?Most worm infections require the animal to eat an egg or larvae of the worm. These eggs/larvae can be found anywhere in the environment where a wormy animal has been. When your dog has been in these surroundings and then licks his/her paws it is possible that your dog gets infected. As you can see a worm infection is quickly acquired. Other ways your dog can get infected is by:
Eating a (prey) animal that is infected with worms, for example mice, frogs and snails
Eating an infected flea (tapeworm)
eating the faeces of an animal with worms
via the bite of an infected mosquito (heartworm)
How can I tell if my dog has worms?Unfortunately worms are often an invisible problem. It is only when your dog is very badly affected by worms that symptoms become visible. Symptoms you might see include:
Worms or 'grains of rice' (=lintworm segments) in the faeces
Vomiting, possibly with worms
Bad condition and/or dull coat
Shortness of breath (in case of lung and heartworms)