If your dog is vomiting or has worms, it might have roundworms. Roundworms are one of the most common types of intestinal parasites in dogs. Whipworms and hookworms join them as the three most commonly diagnosed parasites.
If you think your dog might have worms, or if you have found worms in your dog, here is what you need to know. It includes information on the early signs of roundworm in dogs and how to diagnose and treat worms in dogs.
What Are Roundworms in Dogs?
Roundworms are a common occurrence in dogs. Most puppies have them at some point in their lives. Adult roundworms live inside the dog’s digestive system, while immature roundworms migrate throughout the dog’s body over time. They are white to light brown and look similar to spaghetti (you may find them in dog poop or vomit).
What Causes Roundworm in Dogs?
Dogs of all ages can contract roundworms. They get them from their environment by eating or playing with contaminated poop, dirt, plants, or other animals. If a dog eats roundworm eggs with the infective larvae stage, the eggs will grow and spread through the liver and up the windpipe. It causes them to cough and swallow the eggs. When the eggs reach their intestine, they will grow into adult worms and lay eggs. These eggs will be pooped out and contaminate whatever the dog goes to the bathroom on.
Many times, puppies come into the world with roundworms. It happens because the roundworm eggs pass from the mother to the puppy while still in the womb. Even if a dog has been treated for roundworms and is healthy, the eggs can stay in her body tissues for her whole life. When she becomes pregnant again, those eggs can “wake up” and potentially infect her and her puppies.
It is essential to know that people can get roundworms from dogs’ poop or areas that have been contaminated by it. It can happen if you do not pick up your dog’s poop quickly away or if you do not thoroughly wash your hands after touching it. It is also essential to keep your kids away from areas where dogs may have gone to the bathroom since they can be more at risk for getting sick if they come into contact with the worms.
Symptoms of Roundworms in Dogs
Some signs that your dog might have a roundworm infection are if they vomit or have diarrhea. Roundworms can also cause your dog to feel sick and lose its appetite.
Puppies with serious roundworm infections may vomit worms. It can be a disturbing sight for pet parents.
As the infection progresses, the puppy might seem weaker and lose weight because the roundworms are eating the food in their intestines. If enough adult roundworms accumulate, the puppy can also develop a pot-bellied appearance.
Diagnosis of Roundworms in Dogs
If you think there might be roundworms in your dog’s poop, or if your dog is showing other signs of roundworms, take your dog to the vet. The vet will take a fecal sample and look for roundworm eggs under a microscope. Roundworms are very common in puppies, so this test is usually included in your dog’s first check-up. If the vet finds eggs, they may also order a lab test. A new test can also detect antigens from the worms in the feces.
Roundworm Treatment for Dogs
Roundworms in dogs can be a concern, but the treatment is usually simple and affordable. Roundworms can be persistent, so your veterinarian needs regular fecal exams to check for them (two to four times in the first year and one to two times per year afterward).
Your dog’s veterinary practitioner will provide you with a prescription for a drug that will eliminate the roundworms. It will be followed by medications taken once a month to help prevent future infections. After the treatment, you shouldn’t freak out if you find worms in your dog’s stool. It is common for dogs to pass worms after treatment – it means the product is working.
Roundworm Medicine for Dogs
Many different medications can treat roundworms. Some common ones are milbemycin oxime, fenbendazole, and pyrantel pamoate. Puppies should be given routine roundworm treatment as soon as they are two weeks old. It should be repeated twice a month until the puppies are 4 to 8 weeks old and placed on a monthly broad-spectrum parasite protection medication that covers roundworms.
For adult dogs, roundworm treatment is the same: deworming medication and a long-term parasite protection medication to keep worms away. It may be recommended to start your dog on a long-term parasite protection medication, as this is a dewormer. In other words, your dog may not need additional medicines to clear an infection.
Using a heartworm preventive that is effective against multiple worms, including roundworms, is an easy way to protect your dog.
Cost to Treat Roundworm in Dogs
Most monthly heartworm medications also include treatment for roundworms. The cost of a dewormer is about $10 to $20. If you find it more cost-effective, you can use a monthly heartworm preventive that includes roundworm coverage.
Roundworm Prevention in Dogs
To protect your dog and other dogs from getting sick, pick up her poop as soon as possible. It will stop the eggs of roundworms from contaminating the environment. Roundworm eggs can be found where other dogs or wild canids like foxes, coyotes, and wolves hang out. If your dog likes to explore places like forests, parks, and fields (or roll around in dirt and poop), keep her on a tight leash or in a fenced-in yard to reduce her chances of coming into contact with roundworm eggs.
If you assume your dog might have roundworms, you should talk to your vet. They can assist you in comprehending what is happening and make you feel better. Plus, if your pet does have roundworms, there’s potential treatment, and goodbye to those nasty worms in your dog’s poop!
Read more: The Parasite on the Playground
Frequently Asked Questions About Roundworms in Puppies
How Serious Is Roundworm in Puppies?
Roundworms are a big concern for puppies. The most common problem caused by roundworms is that they will make the puppy grow more slowly. Roundworms eat food still in the intestine, so if there are a lot of them, the puppy will not get as much nutrition as it needs to grow correctly.
How Do You Get Rid of Roundworms in Puppies?
Unfortunately, roundworm infestation is common in dogs, but many deworming drugs are safe and effective. A few of these include fenbendazole, milbemycin, moxidectin, piperazine, and pyrantel. Your veterinarian will most likely administer one to three doses to kill all the adult worms.
How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Roundworms in Puppies?
Most cases of roundworm infection can be cured by taking a medicine that kills the worms in three days. However, the infection can come back. That’s why removing the worms from your yard is essential and picking up your dog’s poop immediately.
Can a Puppy Recover From Roundworms?
Most dogs will recover from a roundworm infection. In severe cases, puppies may need to be hospitalized and given supportive care. If left untreated, these cases can be fatal.