Roundworms are intestinal parasites that infect many canines. Dog roundworm treatments are readily available at most pet supply stores and, of course, at your local veterinary office.
It is important for all pet owners to understand that roundworms are capable of transmission from animals to humans. You have to be fastidious when it comes to recognizing the symptoms of roundworms. If your puppy has roundworms that go untreated, it’s quite possible that you could get roundworms too! This is certainly not a fun problem for either of you.
Roundworms are classified as Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine. They affect dogs’ intestines and give them a pot-bellied appearance. Many people think a worm-infested puppy is fat and happy, but it is merely full of worms. Yick!
These nasty parasites will be present and often visible in your dog’s poop. The worms can grow to 7 inches in length. They have a spaghetti-like appearance in the stool. They may also be seen in vomit. If the worms are not treated, the amount can multiply quickly and cause an intestinal blockage. Without treatment, a blockage can cause death.
The symptoms of a roundworm infestation usually begin with a stomach that appears to be distended. Diarrhea and throwing up with pasta-like worms present are sure signs of roundworms in dogs. Weight loss and a dull, dry coat are other symptoms.
Over-the-counter dog roundworm treatments are readily available either online or at a pet supply store right in your neighborhood. If you choose to buy these pet meds from a store, please be sure to read the label carefully. Pet de-wormers are toxic. If not administered medicine the right way, your pet can become sick and possibly die.
Your veterinarian has the equipment to diagnose what kind of worm is creating problems. Sometimes there is more than one type of parasite calling your dog’s intestines its home.
The vet will ask you to bring in a fecal sample. This is a small portion of poo that you need to put into a baggie for the good doc to examine under her microscope. This microscopic analysis will allow her to determine what worms, if any, are plaguing your poor pup. Once the problem is diagnosed, the treatment is usually simple.
Your dog will be given one dose of de-worming treatment by mouth. You will need to bring more stool samples to the vet office at two weeks and four weeks after this initial de-worming.
Now hear this: Pick up your dog’s wormy poop right away. I mean it. Never let it sit there, because the worms and eggs can live in the soil for years. Cleanliness is an important component of all dog roundworm treatment.
Top photo: Museforhire2010/Flickr