There are several types of worms that can infect dogs.
Tapeworms, round worms, and hookworms are the most common. The adult worms and their eggs can be ingested by coming in contact with contaminated soil, sand, feces, fleas, and rodents. Hookworms can enter through the skin and the paw pads. Dogs can get them from grooming and shared spaces with other dogs like dog parks, kennels, and doggy daycares. Puppies can get worms from their mothers with fatal consequences. It is actually pretty easy for dogs to get them. So, now what?!
I have a very pretty and smart dog, Betty. I have had Betty for four years now and bathroom accidents were mostly non-existent until this year. We had an occasional accident while traveling or in unfamiliar places when she would get anxious. She can be a high maintenance tightly wound dog at times. In our family, we call her “extra”. But, at home with her regular routine, she’s been a great dog. Around June of this year, Betty got a urinary tract infection. She had accidents daily while suffering from this infection. The bacteria was resistant to antibiotics so she would seem to improve and then several weeks after the medication had been taken the infection would recur. This cycle happened a couple times: bloody urine, trip to the vet, antibiotics, improvement, 3-4 weeks would go by, repeat the cycle. The accidents were the worst during the active infection stage. But, even during the “healthy” weeks in between, there were accidents. So, after this cycle recurred for several months, my dog didn’t act like she was potty trained anymore. An ultrasound was done during the active infection stage to rule out tumors or bladder crystals. She didn’t show signs of anything other than an infection that was antibiotic resistant - which was great news.
So, this is what I did. It took three rounds of antibiotics before Betty was clear of infection. The final course of antibiotics was twice as long as the first two rounds. I cleaned accidents with an enzymatic cleaner to remove the scent of urine. I closed off every room with a door. Basically, if a room had a door, it was a closed door. She got four good long walks daily on a set schedule. Prior to the infections, she was fine with three short walks daily. Now, she needed longer and more frequent walks. At night, I didn’t allow her to roam the house freely anymore. She slept in the bedroom with me and I closed the door. Initially, she slept in her crate. After several days of no accidents, I allowed her to sleep outside the crate successfully. Betty was already crate trained when I rescued her. She is comfortable in her crate and seeks it out for refuge on her own regularly. The first few weeks after her infection cleared, she was fine if I was home. But, when I left for a few hours, if she was uncrated, she would have a big accident. So, I crated her at first when I would leave. That kept her from having accidents. Because my work schedule was light at the time, I could come home every few hours and let her out and hang out with her.
There are also a few things that I tried that didn’t work. I put down pee pads everywhere that she had accidents. She didn’t always use the pee pads. I cleaned up the accidents with regular cleaners and she kept going back to the same spots. Then my little chihuahua started joining her in the same spots. I had never used pee pads in the past so she wasn’t really sure what to do with them initially. I also tried some holistic supplements that had probiotics and pre-biotics to help prevent future infections. I didn’t really see any lasting change or improvements using those. I thought they helped at first but then she would get sick again. However, she was still in the infection cycle when I tried those. I can’t really give an accurate review about them.
It was never determined what caused the infection in the first place. So far, so good though. I can’t help but wonder if she just needed longer more frequent walks? That gives me pangs of the “dog mom” guilt.
I am not a trainer or a veterinarian. I walk and take care of dogs during the day and I love my Betty and Eddie. That is what my perspective is based upon.
Lots of people love dogs and want to have them as part of their lives. But, many families have someone in the house that has allergies. Or, maybe you just don’t want to deal with all the hair. Some breeds are heavy shedders. I did not consider the shedding factor when I chose to add a border collie to my household and let me tell you… the hair is everywhere. So, I completely understand wanting to choose a low or non-shedding dog. I am stuck vacuuming daily and living with a little bit of hair on everything. Seriously. EVERYTHING.