Does your dog have a parasite?

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Does your dog have a parasite?
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Intestinal parasites are a potential problem for all dogs, and owners must be diligent in monitoring for symptoms. The most common parasites are hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, and the protozoa Giardia. These are generally passed through eating dog feces. Keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs of infection and treat your dog immediately.

Here are the 9 most-common symptoms of parasites in dogs:

1. Diarrhea

As the name suggests, in the adult form, this parasitic worm has a whip-like shape.  It has a small, narrow head at the front, which is the part of the worm that eats and digests material.  The tail part, which is much larger and thicker (the ‘handle of a whip’), is the reproductive part of the worm. Their length ranges from 30 to 50 mm, making it one of the smaller parasitic worms.

Eggs from the whipworm are oval in shape with obvious plugs (caps) on the top and bottom.  The eggs have a thick outer shell and range in size from 72 to 90 μm in length and 32 to 40 μm in width.

2. Vomiting

A dog vomiting is not always a clear symptom, but one to keep in mind. Look for roundworm in your dog’s vomit. Puppies are especially vulnerable to infection and can be weakened or even die from parasitic bodies. Vomiting is generally present in a heavy hookworm infection.

3. Low Energy

Dogs with lower than normal energy level may indicate an infection. Is your once playful puppy slowing down and needing more naps? She may have been passed a parasite from her mother. Puppies are also more prone to eating feces and infecting themselves.

4. Coughing

A number of parasites migrate from the intestinal track into the lungs and can cause a light cough in dogs. This can be mistaken for kennel cough, which is not caused by a parasite. Hookworm has a complicated lifecycle which involves larva hatching in the lungs, being coughed up, and being re-swallowed by a dog where they burrow and grow. The cough will be present at this time.

5. Pot-belly appearance

Is your puppy slow to grow and demonstrating a pot-bellied appearance? These are typical symptoms of canines that were born in unsanitary conditions and were infected from birth.

6. Change in appetite

Many dogs with a parasite infection may not show many outward signs, but change in appetite is another one to observe. Some pups can run a fever as well.

7. Weight-loss

Especially in puppies, weight loss is a problematic symptom in dogs with infections, especially giardia. Weigh your dog often and note any changes for your veterinarian.

8. Dull coat

Is your dog’s once once-lustrous coat now taking on a dull appearance? This could be an early sign of an intestinal parasite.

9. Worms in dog fur or dog poop

Often the most obvious way to diagnose a parasitic worm infection is to bring your veterinarian a visible worm collected from your dog’s stool. Your vet will examine and test the sample for the visible worms and for any invisible infections as well, like giardia. A good vet will use a number of testing methods to get a clear picture of all infectons and advise an appropriate treatment.

What will my veterinarian do?

Typically a veterinarian will run a fresh, direct smear test to look for giardia and other protozoa living in high numbers. Unfortunately this test is poor at detecting worms. A fecal floatation test suspends a stool sample in solution and then tested. These simple tests are easy and affordable, generally in the $20-30 range.

If a parasite is detected, the vet will typically administer a course of Pyrantel Pamoate (brandname Strongid, Nemex) to clear the infection. Afterward a monthly preventative with brand names Hartgard or Sentinel should keep your dog healthy and parasite-free.

What should I do?

Is your dog exhibiting any of these symptoms of parasitic worm or other infection? Immediately call your trusted veterinarian and take action. Some infections, especially hookworms can cause permanent damage to a dog’s intestinal lining. Others like tapeworm may be more benign, but may make your dog lose energy and less playful.

How did my dog get a parasite like hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, giardia?

The great majority of dogs are believed to contract hookworm by eating the larva hatched on the ground. Dog waste can contain millions of eggs or small larva and can live several days in a cool, moist conditions. That’s why it’s imperative to collect and remove dog waste on a regular basis.

A female hookworm will pass hundreds of eggs in the stool of their canine hosts, where they will remain alive for several weeks. A dog can potentially simply step in waste, and later, when grooming their feet, accidentally ingest the active parasite egg. The larvae may also directly burrow through the skin and migrate to the intestine where it continues its lifecycle.

What else can I do to prevent parasite infection?

Keep your lawn clear of clutter and lawn mowed short. Worms and creatures grow freely in lawn grass and under leaves. A well-tended lawn and sunshine is all that’s needed to kill most giardia and hookworm eggs that have a thin shell. Remember, if your yard is unfenced a neighbor or stray animal can leave droppings on your lawn and spread infection too.

Do you want a safer and cleaner lawn for your dogs and family? Sign up with Pet Domestic pet waste removal and get more peace of mind.

Whipworm

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Whipworm
Dog Whipworm

Our pets can be hosts for a wide range of parasites. Some of these parasites are harmless to humans, but others can cause serious illness if we become infected. Many of these infectious parasites are transmitted via the feces of our pet dogs (or cats), making it important to understand how these parasites live, breed, and especially, the best ways to prevent our pet’s environment from becoming infective and causing a health-risk to us. One such parasite is the dog whipworm which can cause severe intestinal problems.

Whipworms are a group of several species of parasitic, nematode worms. The species of whipworm that infects dogs, occasionally cats and rarely, humans, is known as the dog whipworm (Trichuris vulpis).

DESCRIPTION

As the name suggests, in the adult form, this parasitic worm has a whip-like shape.  It has a small, narrow head at the front, which is the part of the worm that eats and digests material.  The tail part, which is much larger and thicker (the ‘handle of a whip’), is the reproductive part of the worm. Their length ranges from 30 to 50 mm, making it one of the smaller parasitic worms.

Eggs from the whipworm are oval in shape with obvious plugs (caps) on the top and bottom.  The eggs have a thick outer shell and range in size from 72 to 90 μm in length and 32 to 40 μm in width.

LIFECYCLE

Adult whipworms live in the large intestines of dogs. They lay many eggs into the large intestine which are released to the external environment via the feces. These eggs form embryos after about 2 to 4 weeks in the soil; they are then infective if ingested by a new host. The embryo continues to develop within the egg to become an infective larva. After the new host has eaten the infective eggs, these move to the gastro-intestinal (GI) system of the new host.

Once in the GI system, the eggs hatch, usually in the small intestine.  They penetrate the mucous membrane layer and then develop for a further 2 to 10 days before moving to the large intestine.

Once in the large intestine, the larvae continue to develop and grow while burrowing into the surface of the tissue lining the colon and caecum.  Although the worms invade intestinal cells in many places, they only develop to become mature adults in the colon or caecum.

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Once they become an adult, their tail end greatly enlarges.  The worms then push through the walls of the large intestine such that the head remains embedded in the large intestine walls, but the tail dangles into the lumen (space) of the colon. Adult whipworms live inside the cecum, colon and rectum before they lay eggs to be released in feces about 10 weeks after infection.  The eggs are laid intermittently.

Once the eggs are in the external environment, they are highly resistant to extremes of sunlight and temperature and may remain infective for many years.

DISTRIBUTION AND EPIDEMIOLOGY

Vulpis infects canines throughout the world. Older dogs normally have a higher level of infection than younger dogs. The eggs of T. vulpis are prevalent in shady, moist soil areas that have been contaminated by canine feces. In the United States, it has been reported that 14.3% of shelter dogs are infected with this parasite.

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SYMPTOMS

Low burdens of dog whipworms often produce no symptoms in the host dog – owners may be completely unaware that their dog even has the parasite. In these cases, the whipworms may remain undiagnosed or the eggs might be discovered during a routine fecal flotation examination. However, in large numbers, canine whipworms can produce severe disease symptoms including –

On rare occasions, a potentially life-threatening imbalance of the potassium and sodium salts in the body, termed “Pseudo-Addisons disease” can develop.

DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS

Dog whipworm infection is usually diagnosed using a test called fecal flotation. Because whipworm females shed their eggs into the environment intermittently, repeated fecal floats may be needed for a completely positive or negative diagnosis.

Sometimes, whipworm infection will be diagnosed while the vet is performing a colonoscopy on the canine patient for another disease.  A colonoscopy is the insertion of a small video camera into the GI tract – the worms can be seen dangling from the walls of the large intestinal tract.

TREATMENT

In circumstances where many dog whipworm eggs have contaminated the pet’s environment, the owner will need to repeat-worm their dog (or cat) every 2 to 3 months to control the adult whipworm numbers.  Unfortunately, eggs have been known to survive for 7 years, so treatment might be a long-term prospect.  Clearly, prevention is better than treatment.

INFECTION OF HUMANS

Although dog whipworm is generally considered to be of relatively low importance to human health, it IS infective to people.  Both dog whipworms (Trichuris vulpis) and pig whipworms (Trichuris suis) have been discovered in the GI tracts of humans.  These infections produce severe signs of intestinal disease and diarrhoea.  For dog whipworm, the route of transmission to humans is via the feces of the dog (or cat).  This means it is extremely important to keep you and your dog’s environment free of feces and for you to maintain high levels of hygiene.  This will prevent your pet’s environment from becoming infective and lower the risk of you or your family becoming infected.

PREVENTION

It is very important to pick up and dispose of all dog feces immediately after the dog has passed them. When feces are given the chance to break-down on soil or lawns, they release the whipworm eggs into the environment. Other ways of preventing the development of an infective environment include –

  • Housing dogs on sand, gravel or concrete: these are easier to disinfect than soil or lawn
  • Bleaching and steam-cleaning environments: these methods can help kill the resilient eggs
  • Regularly replacing the soil or lawn, e.g. every 3 to 6 months
  • Worming dogs regularly
  • Worming all dogs (animals) on the premises on the same day
  • Weighing before worming so the correct dose of wormer is given
  • Rotating worming medications to avoid whipworm drug resistance
  • Changing wormers if the one you are using does not seem to be working
Your dog’s behaviour
  • Frequent defecation: the dog tries to pass feces very often but usually passing little or no faeces
  • Straining to defecate: the dog looks like it is having to push hard to defecate
  • Abdominal pain: the animal may be sensitive to touching the abdomen or stand very tense and still
  • Restlessness: the dog may pace a lot and refuse to settle
Eliminations
  • Slimy feces: jelly-like, often containing mucus
  • Watery diarrhea: often containing mucus
  • Feces are blood stained or blood tinged: the blood is usually red and fresh
  • Vomiting: a rare symptom, but can happen in dogs with severe large bowel inflammation
  • Dehydration
  • Flatulence: frequently expelling gas
Appearance of your dog
  • Anemia (low numbers of blood cells): this can be seen as very pale gums
  • Bloating: swelling of the abdomen
  • Rectal prolapse: dogs that are frequently straining can prolapse the lining of the rectum through the anus

Coccidia

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Coccidia

DOG Coccidia (Toxoplasma gondii)

Parasites and bacteria are an unfortunate possible hazard of dog ownership. One such parasite is coccidia, which can cause the disease known as coccidiosis. While dangerous to canines, coccidia does not present a risk to infect humans. See this guide for information on detecting, treating and preventing coccidia infection.

DESCRIPTION

Coccidia is a small, unicellular organism which lives in the digestive systems of dogs, most commonly found in puppies less than six months in age.

A dog can develop and grow while infected with coccidia and can become tolerant to the symptoms of the disease. However some dogs with compromised immune systems or young puppies can be more susceptible to the infection.

LIFECYCLE

Unsporulated cysts are shed in dog waste. After two to four days the cysts mature and become infective. The oocysts, or eggs, are ingested by the dog or puppy where it enters the digestive tract. Sporozoites penetrate the gut wall and begin reproducing and filling the tract with thousands of new offspring, some of which are shed in the dog’s waste.

SYMPTOMS

Mild cases of coccidiosis may go undetected, but moderate or severe infections will result in diarrhea. The loose stool may contain mucous and blood in advanced cases. A fecal exam for coccidia cysts will confirm infection.

Eliminations
  • Slimy waste: usually containing mucus
  • Watery diarrhea: containing mucus
  • Feces may be blood stained or have marks of blood
  • Vomiting: in advanced infection, vomiting may be present
  • Dehydration
  • Flatulence: frequently expelling gas
Appearance
  • Bloating: swelling of the abdomen
  • Rectal prolapse: dogs that are frequently straining can prolapse the lining of the rectum through the anus

Stress may also cause a flare up of Coccidia infection. Bringing a dog into a new or strange environment has been shown to trigger further symptoms of the disease.

DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS

Dog Coccidia infection is usually diagnosed using a test called centrifugal fecal flotation. Sometimes, coccidia infection may be found during a routine fecal infection, which is a good reason to stay current to your vet’s recommendations.

TREATMENT

A veterinarian will prescribe Sulfadimethoxine, brand name Albon, for dogs infected with coccidia. It’s important to keep your dog well hydrated and rested while fighting their infection. Steam cleaning surfaces, treatment of nearby animals, and use of ammonia-containing disinfectants can reduce chances of infection.

PREVENTION

Regular pet waste removal is a crucial step to preventing coccidia infection. Fresh dog waste contains inactive coccidia cysts and prompt remove does not allow enough time for the eggs to develop.

Notes

Because coccidia is spread by pet waste, it’s important to keep a strict cleaning regimen. Dog houses and runs must be regularly monitored and cleaned with disinfecting agents. Insects and rodents may transmit eggs as well, so their control is important to keeping your dog’s healthy as well. Using Pet Domestic pet waste removal service can be one step to help keep your lawn safer and healthier for your pups.

Giardia

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Giardia

Giardia

Our pets can be hosts for a wide range of parasites. Some of these parasites are harmless to humans, but others can cause serious illness if we become infected. Many of these infectious parasites are transmitted via the feces of our pet dogs (or cats), making it important to understand how these parasites live, breed, and especially, the best ways to prevent our pet’s environment from becoming infective and causing a health-risk to us. One such parasite is Giardia, which can cause severe intestinal problemsOur pets can be hosts for a wide range of parasites. Some of these parasites are harmless to humans, but others can cause serious illness if we become infected. Many of these infectious parasites are transmitted via the feces of our pet dogs (or cats), making it important to understand how these parasites live, breed, and especially, the best ways to prevent our pet’s environment from becoming infective and causing a health-risk to us. One such parasite is Giardia, which can cause severe intestinal problems.

DESCRIPTION

Giardia is not a worm, bacteria or virus. Rather, it is a single-celled parasite, a protozoan that in its adult form, lives in your dog’s intestine. It infects adult dogs but more frequently infects puppies. It is the most common internal parasite found in dogs. Dogs become infected when they swallow Giardia present in water or other substances that have been soiled with contaminated feces. It is unclear whether the protozoans are a single species or several species, each with a specific host. However, it is clear that Giardia is an opportunistic parasite of dogs which can infect several other species of animals, including humans. Infection with Giardia is called ‘giardiasis.’

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LIFECYCLE

Unfortunately, there is much about the life cycle of Giardia that we do not know.

Giardia is unlike many other dog parasites in that the time between ingesting the parasite and the beginning of the disease is very short (5 to 14 days).  The lifecycle begins with an infected dog shedding inactive (dormant) cysts into the environment in their feces.  It is important to realise that these cysts can remain viable for several weeks or months in cold, wet environments.  This means that areas littered with feces should be avoided and piles should be removed from the environment as soon as possible.  Although the cysts are expelled in the feces, once these are deposited, the cysts often contaminate water sources which are the most common route of infection.

Once ingested by your dog, the cysts are moved to the intestine, open, become activated and develop into the mobile form, known as the “trophozoite”.  This is a pear-shaped organism with a long hair-like flagellum (tail) that whips back and forth, propelling the trophozoite about within the intestines. If your dog is healthy, trophozoites can live in the lower digestive tract for several years.  They attach to the intestinal wall and reproduce by dividing in two. After a number of divisions, some of these develop a wall around itself, thereby becoming the cysts which are passed out in the feces. The Giardia in the feces easily contaminate the environment, very commonly the water, thereby providing a route of transmission to infect other animals and people.

SYMPTOMS

Many healthy adult dogs infected with Giardia do not get any disease, however, young puppies or adults with a compromised immune system can become very ill and death can occur if not treated. Symptoms are usually easier to detect in younger dogs than in older dogs.   The symptoms may be sudden, temporary, non-continuous, or ongoing.  The disease caused by Giardia infection is called Giardiasis, although it is sometimes known as Beaver Fever because beavers are known carriers of Giardia.  The disease may result in the following symptoms –

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Eliminations
  • Watery diarrhea which may contain mucus, be tinged green and frothy
  • Feces that are soft, light-colored, greasy and may contain blood
  • Feces have an extremely repugnant odor
  • Vomiting is a rare symptom, but can happen in dogs with severe bowel inflammation

Appearance of the dog

  • Weight loss
  • Poor condition
  • Dehydration
  • Poor coat quality
DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS

The organism is primarily detected in the feces. A fecal smear or fecal flotation test is normally sufficient to test for their presence.  Diagnosis requires microscopic inspection of feces to determine the identity of the protozoan. Similar examination of soft feces may reveal the presence of active trophozoites, and cysts may be found in firm feces. The number of cysts varies on a daily basis so detection will require collecting and examining samples over 3 to 4 days.

Approximately 5% to 10% of dogs either have Giardia infection (symptomatic) or have it but do not show any clinical signs (asymptomatic).

TREATMENT

There are several medical treatments available.  Washing your dog and their bedding is also recommended to remove cysts and prevent the likelihood of repeat infection.

PREVENTION

It is very important to pick up and dispose of all dog feces immediately after the dog has passed them. When feces are given the chance to break-down on soil or lawns, they release the Giardia cysts into the environment. Other ways of preventing the development of an infective environment include –

  • Housing dogs on sand, gravel or concrete: these are easier to disinfect than soil or lawn
  • Bleaching and steam-cleaning environments can help kill the resilient cysts
  • Regularly replacing the soil or lawn
  • Weighing before medications so the correct dose is given
  • Rotating medications to avoid drug resistance
  • Changing medication if the one you are using does not seem to be working
INFECTION OF HUMANS

Giardia is a common cause of diarrhea in people.  Because Giardia crosses species and can infect people, it is important to have good sanitation when caring for dogs. Kennel workers and pet owners should wash their hands after cleaning dog runs or removing feces from yards.  Babies and toddlers should be kept away from dogs that have diarrhea. When traveling with your dog, prevent them from drinking potentially infected water (e.g. streams, swamps and ponds).

Hookworms

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Hookworms

Hookworms

Our pets can be hosts for a wide range of parasites. Some of these parasites are harmless to humans, but others can cause serious illness if we become infected. Many of these infectious parasites are transmitted via the feces of our pet dogs (or cats), making it important to understand how these parasites live, breed, and especially, the best ways to prevent our pet’s environment from becoming infective and causing a health-risk to us. One such parasite is the dog hookworm which can cause severe intestinal problems.

Hookworms are a group of parasitic, nematode worms. Three species of hookworm can infect dogs and humans. These are Ancylostoma caninum, Ancylostoma braziliense and Uncinaria stenocephala.

These parasites are most prevalent in areas of high temperature and humidity, such as the southern United States, where conditions are favorable for them to rapid develop and spread.

APPEARANCE

Hookworms are small, thin worms, about ¼ – ½ inch long. As adults, they attach their mouth parts into the lining of the small intestine of your dog, or other host, and suck blood and other tissue fluids. This can result in severe blood loss (anemia) and subsequently, malnutrition.

An adult hookworm attached to the intestine
LIFECYCLE

In the A. caninum hookworm, eggs are excreted by dogs in their feces.  Typically, if they land on warm moist soil, they will hatch within 24 hrs.  The hatched larvae become infective within 4 to 5 days and then migrate from the feces into the surrounding soil.  There are 2 possible routes of infection from there to infect another host.

The first route involves the larvae penetrating the skin, usually at hair follicles or sweat glands, but especially in dogs at the footpads and belly where soil contact is frequent and the skin is thin.  The larvae then migrate through the skin and enter the circulatory system which transports them to the lungs.  The larvae leave the circulatory system at the lungs, move up through the trachea and are then swallowed by the host to eventually arrive in the small intestine.  When they get there, they use their 6 sharp teeth to attach to the lining of the intestine.  They then begin to feed by sucking the host’s blood.  Females are thought to produce approximately 10,000 eggs per day.  The time from infection to shedding eggs is 2 to 3 weeks.  Some of the larvae making this migration get “trapped” in the tissue where they encyst.  These larvae remain dormant, but periodically emerge and continue their migration.

The second, more common, route to the small intestine is by directly ingesting A. caninum.  In this case, the eggs are swallowed during grooming and ingesting contaminated soil, or eating an infected prey animal such as rodents, birds or invertebrates like cockroaches.  The eggs are moved directly to the small intestine of the host where they hatch, become larvae and develop into adults.  The subsequent life-cycle process is identical in either case.

Puppies can become infected with hookworms by ingesting the larvae in the milk of their infected mother.  Furthermore, puppies can ingest the eggs or larvae from an infected environment, meaning there is a very strong reason for keeping puppies’ environments clean of feces.

SYMPTOMS

Dogs with chronic (long-term) hookworms often have no symptoms. If your dog does exhibit symptoms, these may appear as early as 10 days after exposure and could include –

Your dog’s appearance

  • Generally unhealthy/poor growth in puppies
  • Poor appetite
  • Dull coat
  • Pale tissues, especially mucous membranes (most easily seen in the gums, lips, nostrils and tissues around the eyes)
  • Coughing (due to larvae in the lungs)
  • Vomiting
  • Redness/itchiness/bleeding at sites of skin infection
Elimination
  • Dark and tarry stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Most serious hookworm infestations in puppies occur during the first weeks and are acquired through the mother’s milk. In adult dogs, the most common routes of infection are ingesting larvae and larvae migrating through the skin.

DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS

Hookworm eggs are not visible to the naked eye and diagnosis is usually made by a microscopic examination to find eggs in the feces. However, because eggs do not appear in the feces for 2 to 3 weeks after infection, there may be an interval during which the feces examination is falsely negative. In these cases, the diagnosis is usually made on the observation of clinical symptoms.

Hookworm egg
TREATMENT

There are a number of worming treatments available that are effective against hookworm. After the initial treatment, this should be repeated in 1 to 2 weeks because the first worming will activate encysted larvae and cause a fresh growth of adult worms to appear in 10 to 12 days.

Many dogs who have become infected with hookworms and recovered, become carriers.  The larvae become encysted in the dog’s tissues. During periods of stress or illness, these larvae can be released causing a new outbreak of bloody diarrhea as worms reappear in the intestine.

PREVENTION

It is very important to pick up and dispose of all dog feces immediately after the dog has passed them. When feces are given the chance to break-down on soil or lawns, this releases the hookworm eggs into the environment. Other ways of preventing the development of an infective environment include –

  • Housing dogs on sand, gravel or concrete: these are easier to disinfect than soil or lawn
  • Bleaching and steam-cleaning environments: these methods can help kill the resilient eggs
  • Regularly replacing the soil or lawn
  • Worming dogs regularly
  • Worming all dogs (animals) on the premises on the same day
  • Weighing before worming so the correct dose of wormer is given
  • Rotating worming medications to avoid hookworm drug resistance
  • Changing wormers if the one you are using does not seem to be working
INFECTION OF HUMANS

Human hookworm infestations were once widespread in the United States, especially in the South Eastern area, but recent improvements in living conditions have reduced these. The hookworm A. brasiliense causes an itchy disease in humans. This is called “cutaneous larvae migrans”, meaning “creeping eruption”. Infection can occur when the larvae in the soil penetrate the skin (e.g. when walking barefoot on sand and soil), causing lumps and streaks beneath the skin.  Humans can also become infected with hookworms from eating unwashed vegetables which harbour contaminated soil.

Roundworm

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Roundworm

Roundworm: How it Effects Your Dog

One of the last things any dog owner wants to deal with is finding out their dog has worms. While it may not be pleasant for you or your dog, it is a fact of life for almost every dog at one point or another.

If you think your dog may have roundworm, then here is a quick rundown on just about everything you need to know.

What are common signs and symptoms of roundworm?

Most often you will find out your dog has worms when picking up his or her waste as worms are almost always found in the animals stool. You may also notice them in your dog’s vomit. The worms can be white or light brown in color and can be an inch to several inches long (and has been compared to the look of spaghetti).

If you do not notice worms in your dog’s stool or vomit it is still possible that your dog is infected. Other common symptoms of roundworm include pot-belly (looking bloating all the time), diarrhea, vomiting (again, check for worms!), dull coat and weight loss.

If your dog or puppy is experiencing any of these symptoms you should take them to the vet. From there your vet will test a sample of your pets stool to confirm a diagnosis of roundworm.

How did my dog get Roundworm?

There are many different ways your dog could have been infected with roundworms. Puppies are the most likely victims to roundworms as they can be passed on from the mother at birth or when they drink her milk if the mother is infected.

Puppies and dogs can also become infected from eating small mammals that are infected (mice, rats, squirrels, etc.) – and yes it’s gross, but they can become infected if they eat the feces of an infected animal.

What is the Treatment for Roundworm?

Roundworm is treated with vet prescribed medications such as fenbendazole, milbemycin, moxidectin and a couple of others. These medications are administered in one to three doses (either one strong dose or three smaller doses over a couple of days).

A couple of weeks later your dog will be treated again. The first treatment will kill off any adult worms and larva – the second treatment is a follow-up to ensure that any unhatched eggs are killed. Roundworms can lay up to 85,000 eggs per day so the follow up dose is absolutely necessary or your dog can become re-infected.

For puppies it is suggested that you get them dewormed for the first time between 2-3 weeks of age. From there they should be dewormed at least 3 more times over the course of their first year of life.

Once a dog is one year old they should be tested for worms one to two times a year depending on preventative measures being taken.

Can Roundworm be prevented?

There are a few different things you can do to prevent roundworm. To prevent roundworm in puppies you should ensure that the mother is worm free and on a preventative during pregnancy. Then get your pups dewormed right away at 2-3 weeks of age.

From there you can talk to your vet about the right age to start them on a preventative. There are many heartworm preventatives that also cover roundworm (some even cover hookworms and whipworms as well). You vet will be able to recommend a trusted medication for your dog.

Aside from medication you can also help keep your dog roundworm free by keeping them leashed and/or in a fenced yard – this will help keep their interaction with small mammals down to a minimum, which lessens the chance of contracting worms that way.

You can also help keep your dog from being infected with roundworms by being sure to keep your yard free of waste. This will significantly lower the chance of your dog becoming infected, even if a friend or relative brings over an infected dog.

While almost every dog is going to become infected with roundworm at some point in his or her life, there is no reason that you should not be taking preventative measures. Keeping your yard clean of your dogs (and other animals) waste is one of the most important steps you can take to preventing roundworm infection.

Tapeworm

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Tapeworms

Dog tapeworm

Tapeworm is a dangerous parasite dog owners should be aware of and be taking preventative measures against. The canine tapeworm, genus Echinococcus, infects the small intestine and treatment is necessary to stop the growth of the parasite and spread to those susceptible, especially children. Cestodiasis is the medical term for a tapeworm infection.

DESCRIPTION – How do I identify if my dog has a tapeworm infection?

An infection and growth of the tapeworm results in segments breaking off and passing through the dog’s digestive system, which may be visible to the owner in stool or under the tail fur. Some species have smaller segments and are more difficult to see with the naked eye while others are easily spotted. The parasite will irritate the dog’s system and licking or biting at the area may give an owner a clue to the infection. Other dogs will scoot, running their bottoms along the ground in an attempt to scratch the itch. The segments may also travel into the dog’s stomach and cause vomiting, where they may be visible.

LIFECYCLE – How does a tapeworm develop and mature?

Tape worm eggs are released into the environment in an infected dog’s feces. A flea larvae will then ingest the egg and continue to mature. The tapeworm grows on a microscopic scale at this stage in its lifecycle. A dog may then ingest the now adult flea as part of its grooming or irritation from a flea bite.

Treatment – Ok, my dog has tapeworm. What now?

Tapeworms are best treated through an administration of praziquantel by your veterinarian. This drug is not contained in a regular heartworm medication, as many dog owners incorrectly assume. Praziquantel is a very safe drug when properly administered. It works by killing and dissolving the worms, which may mean the owner will not observe additional segments in the dog’s stool, though the drug is effective.

Risks – Can I or my family be infected with tapeworm?

Generally, no, but rare cases of infection have been reported in children. The best steps to take are rigorous attention to flea control, which transmit tapeworm and other parasites. Keep dogs out of the trash and sanitize the general area your pets and family live and play. Also, general hand washing and removal of pet waste will control the contraction and spread of tapeworm.

Notes

Tapeworm is a troublesome parasite which is spread through dog waste. It’s a danger to dogs and children and owners should keep a regular cleaning and pet waste removal schedule to reduce risk of infection. Sign up for Pet Domestic services and have an extra hand in the fight against this parasite.

Baltimore Area Dog Parks

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Dog Parks in the Baltimore Metro Area

Walk your dog in a Baltimore Park

BALTIMORE CITY

Patterson Park Dog Park

Description The Patterson Park dog park is a great off-leash option for dogs in the city. Located on South Linwood Avenue in the center of the park, it features two separate fenced-in areas- one for small and senior dogs and one for large dogs. With a few hills to run around on and water fountains for pups, this dog park has plenty of amenities for your four-legged friend to enjoy!

Websites
https://pattersondogpark.wordpress.com (not fully developed)
Facebook is kept up with https://www.facebook.com/PattersonParkDogPark/

Reviews
“This dog park is a great size, and I had a blast bringing my friend’s dog out to play and socialize. The park has AstroTurf hills and well-placed stones—even a stone bridge. The entrance has a sort of “air lock” with two gates, so there’s less risk of a dog accidentally escaping.” – Eva (Google)

Helpful info:
Open 24 hours
Free entry

Canton Dog Park

Description Just off Boston Street in Canton you’ll find the Canton Dog Park with two fenced in areas- one for small and senior dogs and one for large dogs. Each side of the dog park is large, and the fences are super tall so even escape artist dogs will have a hard time hopping over. This dog park has no grass but instead opted for sand and has plenty of seating and water fountains to keep your pup hydrated!

Website
https://www.cantoncommunity.org/news-and-notes/2018/5/30/canton-dog-park-an-unleashed-oasis

Reviews
“Plenty of space for my puppy to run until he couldn’t run anymore. There’s a water fountain for the dogs and their humans, lots of different toys, and plenty of seating for when you just want to watch all the doggos run around.” – Amy (Google)

Helpful info:
Open daily from 6am – 9pm
Free entry
Check their website for closures due to COVID-19. As of August 2020, they are closing every Thursday morning from 630am-9am for cleaning
https://www.canton-mi.org/151/Dog-Park

Locust Point Dog Park (at Latrobe Park)

Description: The Locust Point dog park is nestled into Latrobe Park in South Baltimore and is a large fenced in park where dogs of all sizes can play. This dog park has am AstroTurf hill and large tree on its side for dogs to play on. Take your pup on a walk-through Latrobe park and make sure to stop by this awesome dog park for some puppy socializing.

Website
https://www.facebook.com/locustpointdogpark/

Reviews
“Dog LOVED it- It has a hill built in and turf for the dogs and a knocked over tree for the dogs to jump on. In the summer it has a small pond. It was really nice and had a lot for the dogs to play with” – Michelle (Google)

Helpful info
Open daily from 6am – 9pm
Since it’s only one large park, it is reserved for small and senior dogs only every day between 9-10am and 3-4pm.
Free entry

Howards Park Dog Park

Description: The Howards Park dog park is located in the heart of the Mount Vernon neighborhood in downtown Baltimore. There are two separate areas- one for small and senior dogs and one for large dogs, each with their own amenities like AstroTurf and water fountains. It’s surprisingly large for being downtown and offers plenty of room for your pup to run around.

Website
https://www.facebook.com/MidtownDogPark/
http://mvba.org/our-parks/?fbclid=IwAR38-y9R-cTRAX_gCPhPPcwQrpz2hUxSff_ZDROdzk6w3jtdQeiYb939AzA#howardsParkDogPark

Reviews
“Love this dog park, everyone is friendly as well as their dogs, I like the size and the layout is perfect! It’s clean and my dog has a blast every time we go!”- Haley (Facebook)

Helpful info
Entrance on both sides of the dog park along with a door connecting the two sides
Open daily from 7am – 10pm

Liberty Dog Park

Description Liberty is a small dog park located in the center of downtown Baltimore right on Park Avenue. While it’s not super wide, it is extremely long, making it a great place to let your dog run and stretch their legs in this gravel park. Keep in mind, it’s located on a busy street, so all pups are required to remain on-leash while enjoying the park.

Website
N/A

Reviews
“Great dog park- perfect length for your dog to do laps and really stretch their legs! The dog parents that come see very nice & social and most dogs get along and if they don’t, parents are very attentive.” – Anthony (Google)

Helpful info
Open 24 hours
Free entry

HOWARD COUNTY

Worthington Dog Park

Description: The Worthington dog park is a popular park in Ellicott city with a small entrance fee that goes towards the maintenance of the park. The park offers two separate sections so you can bring your big or small pup. There are plenty of amenities like running water, obstacles for your dogs to enjoy and tennis balls.

Website
https://www.howardcountymd.gov/WorthingtonPark

Reviews
“Love this place! Go here almost daily with my high energy pup, 5 bucks a day or 40 for the year, worth every penny” – Rita (Google)

Helpful info:
Open daily from sunrise to sunset
$5 for the day or annual pass available to Howard County residents

Columbia Dog Park

Description: The Columbia dog park is a massive well-kept park for pups in Howard County. While there is an entrance fee, it goes towards upkeep and there are plenty of amenities in the park. There are two separate fenced sections for small/senior dogs and large dogs and they each have benches and watering stations. The small park is just shy of an acre and the large park is 2 full acres so there’s tons of space to run around freely.

Website:
https://www.columbiaassociation.org/facilities/columbia-dog-park/

Reviews:
“Such a nice place! They keep their grass in great condition and there are plenty of benches for the humans- plus the water fountain for dogs is so helpful.” – Steven (Google)

Helpful info:
$5 for residents and $6 for non-residents for a daily pass or annual pass available to Howard County residents
Open Tuesday through Sunday from 7am – 3:15pm

BALTIMORE COUNTY

BARC at Hannah More Dog Park

Description: The BARC dog park at Hannah More is a local favorite in Baltimore County. In order for you and your pooch to enter you must have a registration but once you’re a member you can go as often as you’d like! There are two separate fenced-in areas with tons of space for your dog to run around. The grounds are cleaned by volunteers and there are water fountains on both sides so you can keep your pup hydrated while running.

Website:
http://www.reisterstownrec.com/dogpark

Reviews:
“The park itself was very nice! The grass was cut, plenty of dog bags and lots of space for roaming.” – Jessica (Google)

Helpful info:
Open daily from 8am – 8pm
Membership fees are $30 per dog and $10 for each additional dog (offered annually only)

Wags Dog Park at St. Helena

Description: St. Helena Park is a large recreational area in Dundalk with a dog park that has plenty of room for your four-legged friend to explore. There are two separate fenced-in grassy areas so large and small dogs can safely play. Each side is well-kept and offers many amenities like water fountains and benches for owners to relax while watching their pups.

Website:
N/A

Reviews:
“Great dog park! But FYI, membership is required as I just recently learned. Worth the investment” – Derrick (Google)

Helpful info:
Must have a membership to go. Membership fee is $20, and you need to show proof that your dog is up to date on all shots and that they are spayed/neutered

Perry Paw Dog Park

Description: Perry paw dog park requires an annual membership and is a huge dog park in Perry Hall with tons of space for your four-legged friend to roam around. The dog park has two separate sections, plenty of doggie bags and running water available for dogs. There are nearby hiking trails that many enjoy taking their pup to once they’ve finished socializing.

Website:
https://perrypawdogpark.com/

Reviews:
“It’s the perfect size for my husky girl to get all of energy out! I take here there for about an hour, then we go running around the park so she’s too tired to pull” – Ricardee (Google)

Helpful info:
Open daily from 7am – 9pm
Membership fee is $30 and includes 2 dogs
No guests allowed under the age of 12

Paw Point Dog Park

Description: Paw Point dog park is a popular members-only park in Baltimore County for pups to explore freely off-leash. The park is located within Lake Roland and has over an acre of fully fenced space for dogs to roam around with plenty of amenities like water fountains, doggie bags and benches in the shade. As a bonus for pups who like water, there is a dedicated area for dogs to swim on the lake.

Website:
https://www.pawpoint.org/

Reviews:
“My dog’s favorite weekend spot! He loves the company, the swimming and the playing and it’s a very clean location.” – Amber (Google)

Helpful info:
Open daily from sunrise to sunset
No guests allowed under the age of 12
There is plenty of parking nearby but in order to reach the dog park you’ll need to walk along a short trail

 

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

Maryland City Dog Park

Description: The dog park inside Maryland city park is a large grassy area with two separate sides for small/senior dogs and large dogs. There’s a fence separating the two sides that opens in the middle in case you have a pup who can roam around freely in both.

Website:
https://www.aacounty.org/locations-and-directions/maryland-city-park

Reviews:
“My dog loves it and has a wonderful time playing with the other dogs. I love that it is fenced in. & if we go on a Saturday, he is so tired when we get home & for at least the next 3 days. “– Amber (Facebook)

Helpful info:
Open daily from dawn until dusk
Bring your own water- no water fountain in the park

Broadneck Dog Park

Description: One of the most popular dog parks in Annapolis, the Broadneck dog park is a large park for pups to roam around freely off-leash. This park has tons of amenities like running water during hot months, trees for shade, benches to lounge on and in the summer a wading pool for the pups.

Website:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/BroadneckDogPark/reviews/?ref=page_internal

Reviews:
“The place is awesome; it has a separate area for the smaller dogs and has plenty of toys for your dog to enjoy. Everyone is friendly and cleans up after their dog!” – Kaitlyn (BringFido)

Helpful info:
Restrooms available in the park nearby
Open from dawn until dusk every day.

Bell Branch Dog Park

Description: The Bell Branch dog park is well-maintained, and locals say it always has toys for pups to play with. This large park has plenty of room for your dog to run around freely and is separated into two areas- one for small and senior dogs and one for large dogs.

Website:
N/A
County website does list the dog park in its park amenities section https://www.aacounty.org/locations-and-directions/bell-branch-park

Reviews:
“Our golden, Angel, loves the opportunity for romping and socializing. It’s wonderful place in this area of small yards and large dogs” – Steve (BringFido)

Helpful info:
Open daily from 6am – 8 pm

Quiet Waters Dog Park

Description: Quiet Waters Park is a beautiful recreational area in Annapolis with two separate dog parks and a dog beach. There is an entry fee but it’s worth it if you plan to spend some time exploring. Both dog parks are large and offer many amenities and the rest of Quiet Waters Park is dog friendly to dogs on a leash. If you have a pup that loves the water, you’ll want to check out their dog beach where dogs can run around and enjoy a nice dip!

Website:
N/A
County website does list the dog park in its park amenities section https://www.aacounty.org/locations-and-directions/bell-branch-park

Reviews:
“What a refreshing take on a dog park. There are two areas you can take your dog: one, a traditional double gated dog park (with separate areas for large and small dogs) and two, a dog beach just the right size to let your dog get a taste of the water.” – Andy (Google)

Helpful info:
Open daily from 6am – 8 pm

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Very professional and always on time. I’ve used them for about a year now and Ethan and his crew are amazing. Would... highly recommend!!read more
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Ethan and the entire Pet Domestic team are great - very professional, friendly, and thorough! I would highly recommend... their service and truly appreciate all their hard work!read more
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I have used several companies similar To Pet Domestic For 12+ years now I know I’ve had some really bad ones and... I’ve had some really good ones but Pet Domestic is by far the most meticulous Industries of this kind. I have had multiple staff members come to our home and each one has been extremely pleasant and very thorough. If you want the less poo for your buck call Pat domestic. LOLread more
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Pet Domestic makes every effort to provide service in an efficient and timely manner. They were quick to respond and... offer an excellent solution to the one issue we reported.read more
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15:47 08 Sep 20
Ethan is a wonderful business owner, and is friendly and respectful. We have been using his company for years now. ... In to of it all, he's very reasonable with pricing.read more
Michelle Petty
Michelle Petty
23:37 28 Aug 20
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Anne Swanson
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I am a new customer, and I'm very pleased with the service so far. Both the person who talked with me on the phone and... the tech who came to our house were professional and friendly. The tech followed our requested instructions. I look forward to using their service regularly.read more
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Jennifer Duncan
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I have been using Pet Domestic for a couple years now. I had used Doodie Calls prior but they kept leaving the back... gate open and we live on a busy street. I am very happy with the service.read more
Stephanie Rossi
Stephanie Rossi
20:13 07 Aug 20
Pet Domestic is a great company. The arrive on time every week and are very nice and friendly. We have four dogs and... I'm thinking about having them come twice a week instead of once.read more
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William Baird
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jana weston
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21:57 09 Jul 20
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03:26 16 Jun 20
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This team is amazing! They have been cleaning my yard of dog waste now for 3 months. They are always here around the... same time on the same day of the week and they do a fabulous job! I’m sticking with them as everyone in my household is pleased no more stepping in.... yea!!!read more
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00:43 10 Feb 20
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19:55 13 Jan 20
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