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Worms and Intestinal Parasites - Dogs

Author Zizzur Staff. Published on May 24, 2011 - 7:23 pm (899 views — 700 words)

Most owners believe that if worms are found in a dogs stool that the dog must be suffering from a disease. This is not necessarily true. Most dogs are infested at one time or another with worms. Some are born with them and others acquire them later in life. When they recover, they develop immunities that help keep the worms in check. You can distinguish between a disease state from the mere presence of parasites by a change in the appearance of the stool combined with a decline in the general healthier of the dog. Take note of decreased appetite, weight loss, upset stomach, anemia, mucus and or blood in the stool, etc.

Dogs develop a resistance to certain worms; those having a larvae phase that migrate in their tissues like hookworms, roundworms, and threadworms. The effect is on the maturation cycle. The larvae remain dormant as cysts in the tissues instead of becoming adults in the intestine. Whipworms and tapeworms have no migration stage and cause little buildup of immunity. Resistance to roundworms appears to be related to age.

High stress events such as trauma, surgery, or travel can activate dormant larvae. This leads to the parasites being found in the stool. Also Immunosuppressive drugs can cause the activation of dormant larvae. During Pregnancy, roundworm larvae are activated and migrate tot eh unborn puppies, Heave parasite problems may appear in the litter even if the mother was dewormed. This can happen because none of the deworming agents are effective against larvae encysted in the tissue.

Most puppies are infested with roundworms. Other worms may e present as well. You are advised to have your puppys checked by a stool sample before treating for worms. Puppies should be dewormed at two to three weeks of age and again and five to six weeks. If eggs or worms are still found in the stool, subsequent doses should be given. There are many types of dewormers on the market the most popular for puppies being Nemex which is gentle and very effective on Hookworms and Roundworms. Nemex is not however effective for whipworms or tapeworms. Panacur is better for tape and whip but be careful with panacur and use as directed!

Adult dogs should only be dewormed when there are signs of infestation. A stool examination is the most effective way. Most dogs carry roundworms as encysted larvae, but intestinal infestation by the adult worm in a healthy dog is very rare. Hookworms are likely to be a problem during periods of high stress. Deworming may catch in intestinal phase but is not effective against encysted larvae. When whipworms are present, usually several doses of treatment will be required. Tapeworms are very common, the worm segments are easy to see in the stool. Fortunately they cause few problems and can be eliminated. Threadworms are very uncommon. There are very few medications that treat Threadworms.

If you choose to deworm on a regular basis, Panacur is a great choice because it has a very wide spectrum and is not a harsh preparation. Panacur can easily be given once or twice a year every year without difficulty.

Before breeding a bitch, have her stool checked. If parasites are found, she should be thoroughly dewormed. This will not protect the puppies from all infestation but it will help put her in the best condition for a healthy pregnancy.

Good sanitation and maintaining clean, dry living conditions for your dog are the best methods to keep reinfestation down. Cement is best for keeping clean but gravel can be substituted, dirt is the worst for keeping sanitary. Lawns should be cut short and watered only when necessary. Stools in the yard should be removed at least once a week. Fleas, lice, mise and other rodents are intermediate hosts for the tapeworm. It is necessary to get rid of these in order to control the disease. Your dog should not be allowed to eat raw meat or intestines from other animals to keep from catching tapeworm.

Kennels that continuously have problems with worms often have other problems too like skin, bowel, and respoiratory ailments. Steps should be taken to improve the management of a kennel, especially sanitation measures.