Did you know that five types of worms can seriously affect your animals? Worms are one of the most common health problems for dogs. There are five types of worms that generally affect dogs, and in this is series, we will discuss each type of worm:

This blog will discuss Roundworms.

Unfortunately, roundworms are one of the most common parasitic worms found inside an animal, specifically a dog. At some time in their lives, almost all dogs become infected with them. It is usually as puppies. They can be contracted in different ways, which makes them easy to spread and hard to control.

From the time your dog is born, they may be infected with roundworms. Worms pass to the puppy from their mother while the pup is still in her body.

Another way that roundworms can develop in a puppy is after the puppy is born and eats larvated eggs from the environment or drinks worm larvae (young worms) in the mother's milk.

Roundworm larvae are present in the tissues of mice and other small mammals. If a puppy eats one of these mammals, they can get roundworms.

How will they affect my dog?

If your dog is infected, adult roundworms live in the dog's intestines. Unfortunately, some dogs do not have any signs of infection, so it may be hard to detect. The dogs that have major roundworm infections, especially puppies, show diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, dull hair, and a potbellied appearance. If the roundworms move into your dog's lungs, your dog may cough.

Adult roundworms can show up in your dog's feces or vomit. They present themselves as white or light brown and may be several inches long.

Roundworm Prevention

There are several things you can do to prevent roundworm for your furry loved one:

  • Keeping your dog's living area clean
  • Remove feces regularly
  • Try to prevent your dog from eating wild animals that may carry roundworms

Remove Roundworm

To remove roundworms that are passed from the mother, puppies should be treated at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks of age and then receive a preventive treatment monthly. Stool examinations should be conducted from 2 to 4 times during the first year of life. With adult dogs, stool examinations should be performed 1 or 2 times each year. Monthly preventive meds should be given to nursing mothers and also treated along with their puppies to decrease the risk of transmission.

Make sure you ask your vet about prevention and treatment because many heartworm preventives include controlling roundworms.

Can roundworms harm humans?

Roundworms can be a significant risk to humans if humans ingest or come into contact with contaminated soil or dog feces. Wherever pets deposit feces, roundworm eggs may accumulate in significant numbers in the soil. These worms can cause eye, lung, heart, and neurologic signs in humans if infected.

Keep children’s play area separate from where animals have passed feces. Individuals should wear gloves or wash their hands immediately if they have direct contact with soil that may have been contaminated by cat or dog feces

Give us a call at 770.438.2694 or schedule an appointment to discuss your beloved animal and possible worms before it gets serious!

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.