Dog roundworm is the most common type of intestinal worm in dogs. If you see one of these worms, it would be two to four inches long and white colored. It would look like a piece of spaghetti, but with tapered ends.
Dog Roundworm Infections
A dog roundworm infection can occur in a number of ways. It can pick up roundworm larvae by eating fecal matter or the carcass of a dead animal such as a squirrel, rabbit or bird. This is because these can may contain immature roundworms that will grow into adult roundworms inside your dog. A dog licking dirt off itself that is contaminated with roundworm larvae can also result in a dog roundworm infection.
Puppies And Roundworms
Puppies are most susceptible to roundworms and, in many cases, are born with microscopically small roundworm larvae in their tissues. These parasites are so pernicious they can penetrate the mother dog’s uterus and infect the puppies while they are still in the embryonic stage. The puppies can also inherit the roundworms when nursing. All of this means that if you buy a puppy from a kennel or a pet store, you should have it tested for roundworms right away. If the puppy does have roundworms, you will need to immediately start it on a series of deworming treatments.
Dog Roundworm Symptoms
Dogs or puppies that have a serious roundworm infection will generally have diarrhea, look unhealthy and may vomit. They may also pass whole roundworms in their stools. In the worst cases, roundworms can cause intestinal blockages and your dog may totally lose its appetite or vomit shortly after eating.
Dog Roundworm Treatment
If your dog or puppy shows symptoms of a roundworm infection, you will need to take it to your vet for an exam. He or she will be able to give you a definitive diagnosis and suggest a good dewormer. Roundworm dewormers are both inexpensive and easy to administer. Some of the more popular roundworm dewormers are Wormout, WormX, Panacur-C, WormX Plus, Drontal Plus and Safe-Guard. Several of these do not require prescriptions and can be purchased online or from just about any pet store. On the other hand, Panacur-C and Drontal Plus do require a prescription. Even if you decide to use an over-the-counter dewormer, it is important that you talk with your vet before using it – to make sure it is the best roundworm treatment for your dog.
There is also an all-natural product available for roundworm deworming. It is HomeoPet Worm Clear. This product comes in liquid form and is administered simply by putting the proper dosage into the dog’s water or directly into its mouth.
Dog Roundworm Prevention
As you have read, roundworms can enter your dog’s body many different ways. For this reason, it is essential that you keep your dog’s living area clean, remove feces regularly, and, if possible, keep your dog from eating wild animals that may be roundworm infected. You should also keep it out of dog parks that are not well maintained. If your dog is a predator, it’s a good idea to have your vet give it a fecal exam several times a year. And if you have a newborn puppy that you suspect might have roundworms, you will need to treat it with a good deworming product at two to three weeks of age.
There are also products available for preventing dog roundworms. If your dog is especially susceptible to these intestinal pests, ask your vet to recommend a good preventative medication. For example, there are heartworm medications that will also prevent roundworms. But you will need to deworm the dog before using any of them. This is due to the fact that they are preventative medications only and will not deworm the dog.
While dog roundworm does not represent a life threatening illness, it can cause your dog a great deal of discomfort. For this reason, it is important that you watch your dog for symptoms of a roundworm infection and then take quick action if you see any. Deworming your dog is easy and inexpensive so there is just no reason to let your dog suffer from a roundworm infection.