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Untreated roundworms in a dog could cause a potentially fatal intestinal blockage. By: metaxin

Roundworms are intestinal parasites that infect many dogs. The good news is that treatments are readily available at most pet supply stores and, of course, at your veterinarian’s office.

Realize that roundworms can be transmitted from animals to humans — so learn how to recognize the symptoms.

Background

Roundworms are classified as Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine.

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They affect dogs’ intestines and give them a pot-bellied appearance. Many people think an infected puppy is fat and happy, but he’s actually full of these worms.

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These nasty parasites will be present and often visible in your dog’s poop, growing to 7 inches in length with a spaghetti-like appearance. You may see them in vomit, too.

If worms are not treated, they can multiply quickly and cause an intestinal blockage, leading to possible death.

Symptoms of Roundworms

The symptoms usually begin with a distended stomach. Diarrhea and throwing up with pasta-like worms present are sure signs of roundworms in dogs. Other symptoms include weight loss and a dull, dry coat.

Check out this informative video on the roundworm’s life cycle:

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian has the equipment to diagnose what kind of worm is creating problems. Sometimes there is more than 1 type of parasite invading your dog’s intestines.

The vet will ask you to bring in a fecal sample in a baggie so she can examine it under her microscope. This will allow her to determine what worms, if any, are plaguing your pet. Once the problem is diagnosed as roundworms, the treatment is usually simple.

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Treatment

Your dog will be given 1 dose of de-worming treatment by mouth. You’ll be asked to bring more stool samples to the vet office at 2 weeks and 4 weeks after this initial de-worming.

Over-the-counter dog roundworm treatments are available online and at pet supply stores.

If you choose to buy pet meds from a store, read the label carefully. Pet de-wormers are toxic. If not administered correctly, this medicine could make your pet sick and possibly kill her.

Prevention

Pick up your dog’s wormy poop right away. Worms and eggs can live in the soil for years. Cleanliness is an important component of prevention.

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