How to protect your Dog and Family from Roundworms
Nearly every puppy in the world is born with roundworms. This is
because the roundworm’s larvae are transmitted from the mother to
the puppy while it is still in the womb. A female dog can harbor
roundworms in her tissue, often making them immune to dewormings.
The roundworms then have the opportunity to emerge during
pregnancy through the mother’s bloodstream and infect the unborn
puppies. Roundworms can also be transmitted to newborn puppies
through the mother’s milk during nursing.
Roundworms are also easily transmitted to humans. Young children
are most susceptible because they are always sticking their
fingers in their mouths! Roundworms are transmitted to humans and
dogs through eggs that are in a dog or puppy’s stool. They can
either be ingested through direct eating of the stool or by
eating something else that has eaten the stool (the dog eats a
bird, mouse, etc. that has eaten the dog’s stool).
Everyone should wash their hands frequently after handling the
puppy or dog and make sure that all feces is removed from the
yard and disposed of on a daily basis. Most infections in people
are mild and cause no symptoms at all. However there have been
cases of worms migrating to the liver, brain, and eyes.
Symptoms of roundworms in humans include:
•Passing of Worms
Infected puppies can become quite ill and heavy infestations may
lead to convulsions and even death. Most puppies that die are
around the age of two to three weeks old. Puppies should be
wormed at ages 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age. Adult dogs should
receive yearly stool samples from their veterinarian to check for
worms. Roundworms will look like spaghetti in the puppy’s feces.
Symptoms of roundworms in dogs include:
•Lack of Energy
•Slow Growth Rate
•Coughing (if immature roundworms have migrated to the puppy’s
Some dogs may show some or all of these symptoms while others may
show no symptoms at all. When adult roundworms are seen in the
dog’s stool this is often because of ongoing disease in the bowel
or sometimes because the worm burden had become so great that the
worms are crowding each other out.
Treatment of roundworms is not dangerous and is highly effective.
Buy your wormers from the vet and give them regularly as
instructed. The tablets are not difficult to give if you train
your dog to take them in tiny bits of cheese or put them into
sweets. The best way to protect your family and dogs from
roundworms is through a regular program of both medication and
prevention (keeping the yard clean of feces).
Jennifer Bryant breeds American Pit Bull Terriers and builds
websites in her spare time. Bryant’s Red Devils
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