Roundworms can be dangerous for your dog. Learn the symptoms and causes of roundworm infection
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Roundworms are common parasites that infest a dog’s internal systems. They are also called nematodes or ascarids. Roundworms are usually found inside the dog’s intestines where they feed on half-digested food. Puppies are more susceptible to developing a roundworm infection.
There are two strains of roundworms that commonly affect the dogs i.e. Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine. Between the two, Toxocara canis is more dangerous and it can also be passed on to humans when they come in contact with the feces of an infected dog.
Roundworm infection in dogs can cause multiple complications such as anemia and malnourishment. Young pups are particularly susceptible to the ills brought by a roundworm infection because they have a weak immune system and cannot fight the worms on their own. Let us take a more detailed look into the symptoms, causes, and treatment of roundworm infection in dogs.
Symptoms of Roundworm Infection in Dogs
Roundworm infection can be asymptomatic but in most cases, the dog displays the following symptoms:
- Malnourishment: Roundworms feast on undigested food inside the dog’s intestine. They deprive the dog of important food nutrients which results in malnutrition. Some of the common symptoms include diminished growth, fatigue, and weight loss.
- Protruding belly: your dog may develop a protruding belly if the roundworms are left untreated. They will continue to grow inside the dog’s intestine and their presence in the abdominal region gives the dog a bulging belly.
- Coughing: Your dog will develop a hacking cough if the larvae of roundworms attack the lungs. They can cause other ailments of the respiratory system such as pneumonia.
- Ailments of the digestive system: Roundworms can cause severe diarrhea which is accompanied by vomiting. Sometimes, the worms can be seen with the naked eye in the dog’s vomit or stools.
- If you think your dog is suffering from a roundworm infection, take him to a vet immediately. He will prescribe you an effective deworming drug. The vet will administer the drug in 2-3 batches. The first three batches do most of the job and kill the adult worms. The vet will also administer a few follow-up doses to kill the recently developed worms.
Experts agree that Simparica Trio is one of the most effective deworming medicines. You can contact the vets at Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center located in Charlottesville, VA for more information.
- Regular fecal exams are recommended after the treatment. Fecal exams will help identify any traces of roundworms and the need for further treatment.
Prevention from Roundworm Infection
Roundworms are common internal parasites that infect 4 out of 5 dogs. To prevent a roundworm infection from taking place in the first place, we recommend you to take the following actions:
- Deworm your puppy on weekly basis. Administer the recommended dosage of deworming medicine before they are 3 weeks old.
- Practice hygiene by keeping your dog clean and tidy. Regularly clean your dog’s utensils, play area, litter box, etc. The dog’s feces should be discarded properly and care should be taken that he does not encounter other pet’s feces while playing outdoors.
- Ensure minimum interaction between your dog and small wild animals. They are the primary carriers of roundworms.
- Administer special protocol for deworming pregnant dogs. Mothers usually pass on the infection to their pups.
- Regular fecal tests should be performed on dogs that are at high risk of developing a roundworm infection.
By following the above-mentioned tips, you can ensure the general wellness of your dog. You will prevent your best friend from contracting a roundworm infestation in the first place.