Roundworms, also called Ascarids, or Toxascaris leonina, or Toxocara canis, are parasites that live inside and feed off an animal’s intestinal tracts. They’re generally white or light brown and a few inches long. (They look like spaghetti.) If your dog has roundworms, you might see them in his poop or vomit.
Some dogs don’t reveal symptoms of being infected, but numerous do. Here’s what to search for:
If you see these signs, take your dog to the vet. He’ll test a sample of your dog’s poop and begin a set of treatments if required.
Treatment for Roundworm in Dogs
There are many safe and efficient deworming drugs. They include fenbendazole, milbemycin, moxidectin, nitroscanate, piperazine, and pyrantel.
Your veterinarian will give your dog one to 3 dosages in the beginning, which will kill the adult worms. Your dog will get follow-up dosages to kill any brand-new worms that weren’t completely developed when the first dosages were given.
Since it’s so typical in puppies, many vets deworm puppies when they’re 2-3 weeks old simply to be safe.
After your dog is treated, he must get regular fecal exams. For pups, that’s two to 4 times a year. For dogs 1 year or older, it’s one to two times a year.
How Dogs Get Roundworms?
These parasites prevail. Puppies have the highest risk of getting them and ending up being ill.
Your dog might get them from:
- His mom. If your puppy’s mom is infected with roundworms, she may pass them prior to he’s born. Or he may get them by consuming her milk.
- The environment. Your pup can get roundworms if he eats roundworm eggs that originate from another animal’s poop, or if he eats mice or other little animals that are infected.
This is how the cycle continues: After your dog swallows the eggs, they hatch and become larvae. The larvae then spread out through your dog’s liver and approximately his windpipe. Next he coughs then swallows the larvae. That’s how they get into his intestinal tract, where they can become adult worms. Then they lay their own eggs, which continues the cycle.
Roundworms spread easily. One roundworm can produce as much as 85,000 eggs a day. But you can do a lot of things to ward them off.
- Deworm your puppy when he’s young. The best time to start is before he’s 3 weeks old.
- Keep things clean, including the areas where he eats, sleeps, and plays. Get rid of his poop correctly. Tidy up after him in your yard and also in the park. Do not let your dog use a playground or sandbox as a litterbox.
- Keep your dog far from small, wild animals. They can bring roundworms. Consider keeping him on a leash or in a fenced backyard.
- Give your dog medication to avoid heartworms. Numerous have ingredients that also treat and control roundworms.
- Speak to your doctor about potentially deworming your dog once in awhile if he’s at high risk of an infection.
Risk to Humans
It’s uncommon, but roundworms can cause issues in people. If you have contact with dog poop or soil that’s infected, you may get an infection. That can lead to eye, lung, heart, and neurological problems.
Kids have a higher risk and may get infected by ingesting eggs that are in soil or dog poop. Keep them far from areas where dogs have used the bathroom. Make sure they clean their hands frequently.