Among all of the parasitic worms out that that can cause damage to your dog, roundworms are among the most common. Almost all dogs become infected with some form of roundworms during their lives, but it usually occurs most during their time as puppies. Roundworms in dogs are the most popular parasitic worms because of the many different ways they can be contracted, which also makes it easy for them to spread and harder to control and treat.
Since parents can pass roundworms onto their puppies, this one of the major reasons why most dogs will see roundworms in their first few months or years. Puppies can also contract roundworm after birth, from drinking their mother’s milk if it is also infected with roundworm. Roundworm can also be passed by any small creatures or animals, such as mice, that a puppy may chew or eat.
Affects of Roundworms in Dogs
Dogs act as a host to roundworms, which allow them to live and multiply from within a dogs body. Once in adult form, roundworms live in the affected dog’s intestines. A the time of infection, there are little to no signs of symptoms in dogs. As the progression of roundworms occur in dogs, you may begin to see weight loss, a loss in quality of hair, and enlarge stomach/pot belly formations. Should roundworms move into the lungs, a dog may cough them up. It is also common to see adult roundworms in the feces or vomit of an infected dog, which are usually white or light brown and can be several inches long.
How to Prevent Roundworms?
Since roundworms are the most common form of parasitic worms, it’s extremely easy for them to enter your dogs body. A clean and healthy living condition is extremely important for the treatment and prevention of roundworms infecting your dog. It is a must to remove all dog feces often, and avoid your dog eating or chewing on any wild animals which may already be infected with roundworms.
Treatment of roundworms in puppies should be performed on a bi-weekly basis. It is also common to keep mothers of puppies on a preventative to keep their puppies safe from contracting the disease. The majority of heartworm medications on the market will also control the spread and prevention of roundworm. It is best to visit your veterinarian for check ups and monitor the progress of any roundworm treatment plans.
Can Humans Get Roundworms from Dogs?
Unfortunately, roundworms can pass over to humans as well. The main causes of transfer from dog to human are from contaminated soil or feces. When cleaning up after your dog, or in soil that dogs frequently use for bathroom purposes, make sure to always wash your hands immediately after. Any areas with feces are a stomping ground for where roundworm eggs can accumulate.
Treatment for Roundworms
One of the most popular treatments for roundworm is Heartgard Plus, which eliminates any pre-existing populations of roundworms and hookworms found in a dog’s system, along with reducing the re-infection by these parasites. Heartgard Plus is approved for use in both adult dogs and puppies as young as 6 weeks. It is recommended to use a monthly application to reduce the chances of roundworm occurring again.