How to Treat Dog Roundworms

by Renee
(Fountain city)

Reader Question: How to Treat Dog Roundworms

We have a six week old puppy we took today and had its first shots and wormed. Tonight she has a bit of diarrhea and it looked like a piece of spaghetti in her stool. So the men's are taking care of it I'm assuming. My concern is the article said children are susceptible to getting them. How does that happen? She chews on their fingers and such. And how do I make sure the other dogs in the home do not get them?

Thank you

Suggestions from our Vet on How to Treat Dog Roundworms

A dog roundworm infestation, especially in puppies is common. The parasite can have a severe health impact on the puppy itself, but it is also is of zoonotic importance. Thus means roundworms can infect other dogs and people, especially children.

A puppy may become a reservoir of roundworm larvae, even during the gestation period. The larvae and eggs of roundworms, if a mother is infected, may enter into the bloodstream or even through the placental walls. The pregnant female dog is usually more susceptible to worm infestations during gestation since her immunity is lower and physiological systems becomes sensitive. Thus, even a little ingestion and inhalation of larvae or an egg can trigger an infestation, which can extend to puppies. That is why; veterinarians recommend using preventive anti-helminthic drugs during
first two months of age. It is recommended to de-worm puppies every two weeks for two months in areas with severe infestation problems.

Once a pet is treated with shots and a de-wormer, like your puppy, it is excreting the worms while the drug is taking care of the condition. However, along with worms, the puppy excretes a large number of larvae and eggs as well. Most of the preventive drugs are usually not- or under-effective on larvae or eggs. Thus, a puppy on a preventive treatment plan may become a source of infestation for other dogs and people. Other dogs and people, especially children may accidently ingest or inhale these larvae from air, eventually becoming infested in no time.

For this reason, preventive medication is not enough, and a treatment plan should be developed out for other dogs as well. For other dogs, you can consult a veterinarian for a nominal preventive medication, if necessary.

Along with prevention or prophylaxis, strict hygiene measures are needed to be observed, especially while a puppy is on treatment. It is essential to discard the feces of a puppy with care for three days, once the medicine is administered and if necessary, should be kept away from other dogs and children. Remember, hygienic measures are essential for people, especially children because they may become quickly infested with roundworms.

Best to you and your dog.

Umer Ahmed Bangash, DVM

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