The Dangers of Canine Parasites
When you get a puppy, one of the first things that you need to
do is make an appointment with the vet to get your new family
member his or her vaccinations. Along with any recommended shots,
your cuddly canine will probably get a dose of a de-worming
formula to rid them of any internal parasites.
Some parasites can be very dangerous to your dog, especially
to puppies. For instance, a hookworm (about 1/8" in length) will
adhere itself to the small intestine and begin to suck the blood
from your pet. It can cause severe anemia, followed by
circulatory collapse, severe diarrhea, hemorrhaging, shock and
Puppies may receive hookworms through the mother's placenta
during the gestation period or through the mother's milk when
nursing. This is why it is very important that new puppies
receive a de-worming formula.
These parasites can also enter an adult dog quite easily when
your pet walks over soil that contains any contaminated feces
from other animals. In turn, your dog then licks his or her paws
and ingests the hookworm larvae. Even without the paw licking the
larvae can burrow through the skin and into the dog. Once inside,
the larvae migrate to the small intestine where they grow into
adult hookworms, usually within 14 days.
A female hookworm will begin to lay eggs... 20,000 of them per
day! As you can see, it is vitally important to have your
favorite canine de-wormed should they become infested with
hookworms. If you see symptoms such as diarrhea, weakness, pale
gums, or weight loss, take your canine to the veterinarian
immediately for diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is usually
made through a small stool sample. Treatment consists of an oral
or injected medication which kills the adult hookworms, but not
the larvae. This treatment needs to be repeated again in 2 to 4
weeks to kill the larvae that have emerged as adults. In cases of
severe anemia, your dog may require a blood transfusion.
Roundworms are another common parasite most often found in
puppies. The worms are usually heavy-bodied and grow to about 6"
Infection usually occurs as larvae that have lain dormant in
an adult female dog are reactivated when the female dog becomes
pregnant. The larvae begin to migrate through the placenta to the
liver of the fetus. They also will migrate to the mammary glands
of the mother, so that the puppies can also become infected while
The time from roundworm larvae infection to the adult stage is
about 27 days. Most roundworms live about 4 months in the puppy
and are usually expelled by the natural immune system of the
puppy before 6 months of age.
So, if puppies naturally expel these parasites, how do adult
dogs end up with them? The adult dog ingests them by eating some
food supply that contain the larvae.
Another very common worm is the tapeworm. This worm lives in
the intestines of both dogs and cats. The worm is transmitted by
fleas. When a dog or cat has fleas, they will naturally ingest
the tapeworm while grooming. The tapeworm then makes its way to
There are usually no noticeable symptoms for the most part,
although sometimes your dog may show some stomach upsets,
diarrhea or just seems somewhat lethargic. You can often tell if
your pet has tapeworms by finding small, whitish worm segments
that look like small grains of rice under the tail of your pet or
on its bedding. Also, you dog may begin "scooting" their rear end
along the floor because of irritation. It takes approximately
three weeks from the time your dog ingests the flea until you
begin to see tapeworm segments.
Although not generally harmful to an animals health, tapeworms
are certainly something you'll want to rid your dog of. One of
the first treatments for tapeworms is to begin a program of flea
control treatment program for your pet and the immediate
environment of your house and yard.
Rose Smith is the author and owner of Caring For Canines, a
web site that provides information on natural dog health care.
Please visit us at: http://www.caringforcanines.com
NEWS & INFORMATION resources
updated Mon. April / 22 / 2019
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