infection is transmitted through ingestion of eggs in an infected
rodent, infected soil, or milk from an infected mother.
are two species of roundworms affecting dogs and puppies: Toxocara
canis and Toxascaris leonina. Both are treated with the same medication
protocol so when eggs are seen on a fecal flotation exam, it is
not necessary to determine which species is present.
roundworms have a funny face with three big lips surrounding their
mouth. They feed on partially digested food in the dog’s intestine.
they are about 2 – 4 inches long, but can grow up to 7 inches long
and if vomited up can be quite alarming. They are tan or white “spaghetti-like”
creatures with tapered ends.
If a roundworm infestation is heavy a dog may vomit these worms
or pass them (whole) in the stool, have diarrhea and can have an
effect on a dog’s overall general health and appearance. Puppies
infected with roundworms will have a “potbellied” (bloated) look
to them with abdominal pain, dull coat, diarrhea, and occasionally
fatal small bowel obstruction. Roundworms can become so numerous
that they can cause an intestinal blockage and stool cannot pass.
Migration can cause respiratory signs that mimic upper
respiratory infections. Occasionally serious pneumonia can result.
dogs rarely show GI signs but can compromise their overall condition,
especially if other diseases are active.
humans ingest roundworm eggs, the eggs can cause infection. It is
important to wash hands after handling dog feces. Children should
not be allowed to play on soil where dogs defecate.
infective worm eggs from soil in the environment (generally through
– Nursing from an infected mother dog.
– Consuming a prey animal (usually rodent) that is carrying developing
– During embryonic development when an infected mother dog is pregnant
puppies are infected this way).
Dog Roundworm Treatment:
of roundworms in puppies consists of oral medication at 4, 6
and 8 weeks, followed by a microscopic fecal exam at 11-12 weeks.
adult dogs, annual fecal exams are recommended to remove asymptomatic
infections. Monthly heartworm preventive drugs contain good round
and effectively worm the dog each month during the heartworm season.
There are many good round wormers on the market – some are over
the counter and some are prescription. Many flea control and/or
heartworm prevention products provide a monthly deworming which
is especially helpful in minimizing environmental contamination.
Common active ingredients include:
(active ingredient in Drontal and Drontal plus)
– Pyrantel pamoate (active ingredient in Strongid, Nemex, HeartgardPlus
– Piperazine (active ingredient in many over the counter products)
– Fenbendazole (active ingredient in Panacur)
– Milbemycin Oxime (active ingredient of Interceptor and Sentinel)
are two important concepts to keep in mind about deworming. Medications
essentially anesthetize the worm so that it let’s go of its grip
on the host intestine and passes with the stool. Once it has been
passed, it cannot survive in the environment and dies. This means
that you will likely see the worms when they pass so be prepared
as they can be quite long and may still be alive and moving when
you see them.
is diagnosed by examining the feces for the presence of eggs.
generally requires more than a single dose and your veterinarian
will recommend a follow-up deworming.
owners should discuss the options with their veterinarian and ask
whether monthly preventative medication (e.g., Sentinel�, Heartgard
Plus�) is necessary.
: Pet Supplies Review