Understanding Roundworm Infestation in Dogs

Roundworms are common intestinal parasites that affect our canine companions. Puppies are particularly susceptible to roundworm infestation, but adult dogs can get them, too. Fortunately, roundworms are usually able to be easily diagnosed and treated. Your veterinarian Chesapeake, VA is here to tell you more about roundworms and help you understand this common canine health problem.

How do dogs contract roundworms?

There are two main species of roundworm: Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine. The canis roundworm is the one that most often infects dogs. Ask your vet Chesapeake, VA for more information on roundworm species.

Dogs usually contract roundworms by eating animals that carry roundworm eggs, like rodents or birds. The eggs develop into larvae, which then develop into adult worms in the dog’s stomach. You can learn more about this process by calling your veterinarians Chesapeake, VA.

Puppies often contract roundworms from their mother. If the mother dog has roundworm, the larvae can migrate across the placenta and into the puppy fetus. Puppies could also be infected while nursing since larvae can migrate into the mammary glands. Talk to your Chesapeake, VA veterinary professional to learn more about these modes of transmission. 

Roundworm Infestation in Dogs

What are the symptoms?

Although roundworms can sometimes be seen with the naked eye in a dog’s stools or vomit, it doesn’t happen in every case. More commonly, a case of roundworm is diagnosed by identifying the eggs under a microscope. Ask your vet clinic Chesapeake, VA for further details on the diagnosis of parasitic worm infestations.

In the early stages of roundworm infestation, the symptoms can be hard to identify and may even go unnoticed. Dog owners might notice a dull, coarse coat of fur, lack of growth (mostly in puppies), coughing, a distended stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you see these symptoms in your puppy or adult dog, it’s time to call your veterinary clinic Chesapeake, VA for help.

How is a roundworm infestation treated?

After the roundworm infestation is definitively diagnosed, a treatment regimen will be started. This typically involves deworming drugs like fenbendazole or milbemycin, which kill off adult worms and their larvae. In most cases, the worms are all gone after only a few days. You can learn more about these medications from your animal hospital Chesapeake, VA.

Your dog might need multiple treatments to completely rid themselves of roundworms. Usually, multiple treatments will occur about two weeks apart. Of course, your pet clinic Chesapeake, VA will fill you in on the details.

How can I prevent my dog from getting roundworms?

You’ll want to prevent a roundworm infestation if at all possible. The first step is to get your dog on a heartworm preventative as soon as possible. It helps prevent other types of worms in addition to heartworm, roundworms included. Talk to your veterinary clinic Chesapeake, VA if your dog is in need.

Practice good hygiene around your dog. Pick up their fecal matter in a sanitary manner from your yard and in public areas. Keep your home environment clean. And always wash your hands after picking up your dog’s feces—while rare, roundworms can be transmitted to humans! Ask your Chesapeake, VA vet for more insight into this and how to prevent the problem. To learn more about roundworms and other parasites that affect dogs, call your pet clinic Chesapeake, VA.