Just how dog fleas lead to dog worms is a study in itself. Infected fleas are the leading cause of worms in dogs and cats. Here's the drill: Flea bites dog, dog bites flea -then swallows it! - and dog gets worms. You see, fleas and lice serve as intermediate hosts once they ingest worm eggs.
This works the same with people. You and I can become infected with worms by accidentally swallowing worm eggs or by simply inhaling a breath of air containing tiny, airborne egg sacks. It's not a pleasant thought, but the odds of you having worms at this moment are, inescapably, pretty good.
The problem for both you and your dog or cat is that the average over-the-counter de-wormer just does not work. Yes, I know the brand may be popular and the claims impressive, but most store-bought cat and dog de-wormers fall short of truly cleaning out the pipes. Meanwhile, these generics and their stronger cousins, the prescription class of cat and dog de-wormers, come laced with commercial pesticides and assorted toxins enough to burden both the animal and its human handler.
What to look for
Of the four most common worms in dogs - tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms or whipworms - the two most easily seen in dog feces with the naked eye are tapeworms and roundworms. Tapeworms live in the dog's small intestine, ranging from under an inch in length to over two feet. Its head attaches to the intestinal wall (gut) while the body consists of segments that contain packets of tapeworm eggs.
Because of the location of the tapeworm head in the dog, the length of the worm's body is invisible to the naked eye. What a person sees in dog feces or fur in the anal area are small segments that have broken off from the tapeworm body inside the gut area. They appear to be small moving segments or dried-up kernels of rice once they die. In reality, the tapeworm is impossible to control unless the flea population is controlled. Once re-infected, fleas will begin the cycle all over again.
Step One - kill fleas naturally
Let's first examine the animal for fleas to determine the extent of the infestation. Begin at the base of the dog's tail and work forward looking for black particles (flea feces) in the hair. A standard flea comb gives excellent results, removing fleas and dead hair at the same time.
By placing the black particles on a damp paper towel, the particles should turn red. This red color is blood residue from flea feces. A flea will gorge on the animal's blood until it almost bursts. This is nourishment for the female, who lays 50-60 eggs a day, up to 600 eggs total! These eggs fall off every time a flea-infested dog or cat lies down, walks or shakes its body - infesting other animals, the environment, and human bystanders.
Here are some of the natural flea control methods that can be used separately or in combination.
Step Two - flush internal parasites with an herbal de-wormer
Now it's time to flush internal parasites from our dog or cat with an herbal de-wormer. Cleansing the bowels often causes diarrhea to occur until toxins are removed from the system. The best herbal de-wormers have been properly formulated, prepared and made available by qualified, natural herbal-animal specialists.
Here are some popular home remedies for dog worms, cat worms and even worms in humans. Please proceed with caution on the first three.
SEE ALSO: Natural flea control