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Worming Dogs

Roundworm in dogs

Due to the lifecycle of the roundworm (Toxocara) we should assume that all puppies are infected with roundworm at birth.  As it can be transmitted to humans it is important to implement a strict worming regime as soon as you bring home a new puppy or dog.

Your dog can pick up roundworm eggs from soil where there have been other dogs’ faeces.  Toxocara worms can produce infectious eggs which a dog passes in its stools.  Roundworms are more common in puppies and may be present in large numbers living in the bowel.  The puppy may appear pot-bellied.  Roundworms may cause digestive upsets, stunt growth and generally weaken a young dog.

Tapeworm in dogs

If you see moving white segments in your dog’s faeces, tapeworms could possibly be the cause.  Little, egg-filled segments of the tapeworm’s body crawl out of your dog’s bottom.  They’re about the size of a large grain of rice and can cause irritation.

Tapeworms can infect your dog from fleas, from the environment or from eating raw or undercooked offal.  Infected dogs will pass small grain-like segments of the worm in their faeces, or they may stick to the hair under the tail.  These worms are sometimes difficult to spot.

Can the parasites affect me?

As both roundworms and tapeworms can affect humans, it is important to maintain a regular worming regime, as agreed  with your vet. Toxocara worms can produce infectious eggs, which can be harmful to humans.  This is especially the case with the dog roundworm, Toxocara canis.  The eggs can stay in garden soil or in sandpits for up to two years and still be infectious to people as well as pets if the eggs are transferred to the mouth and swallowed.

As infective worm eggs can be found on animals’ coats as well, it is important that you wash your hands after playing with your pet and especially before eating.

How do I treat worms?

There are different ways to treat parasites-tablets, injections and spot-on treatments.  The important thing is planning and getting your vet to come up with a parasite protection plan.  That way you can protect your pet, your home, yourself and your family.

 


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