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Symptoms of Internal Parasites in Dogs and Subsequent Treatment

What are Internal Parasites?

Internal parasites don't just affect certain breeds, all dogs are susceptible. Hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, giardia, and coccidia are some of the more common internal parasites that dogs can contract.

It is common for your dog to become infected with internal parasites at some point. There are countless internal parasites that can trouble your dog. That's why regular fecal exams will hopefully catch your vet any infestations before they become serious or even life-threatening. Some internal parasites can also be transmitted to humans, so early detection and careful handling of your dog's feces is important.

Symptoms of Internal Parasites in Dogs

Most internal parasites do not show symptoms until the infestation becomes serious. Therefore, preventive care and regular fecal examinations are important to catch infestation in its early stages. If you notice any of these symptoms, collect a stool sample from your dog and have your veterinarian check for any parasites.

Hookworms attach to the stomach wall and pierce blood vessels to feed on blood. Hookworms can be transmitted to humans.

  • Poor growth in puppies
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark, tarry stools
  • Anemia

Roundworms are the most common internal parasites in dogs. Almost all dogs will become infected with roundworms at some point during their lives. Roundworms can be transmitted to humans.

  • mucusy diarrhea
  • Poor growth in puppies
  • Bloated or swollen abdomen
  • Worms visible in stool
  • Vomiting
  • pale feathers

Tapeworms are flat, segmented worms found inside the intestine. Segments of a tapeworm can become independent worms. Some types of tapeworms can infect humans.

  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Inability to digest food or absorb nutrients
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakening
  • variable appetite
  • coarse feathers
  • Worms or segments seen in stool

Giardia is a single-celled parasite that settles in the small intestine. A worm is not a bacteria or virus. People and dogs can contract giardia and easily spread it to each other.

  • Diarrhea
  • bad situation
  • weight loss
  • Death

Coccidia are single-celled organisms that cause intestinal infection. The most common type of coccidia found in dogs is not easily transmitted to humans. Other less common types can infect humans.

  • bloody diarrhea
  • weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Death

Causes of Internal Parasites in Dogs

The causes of internal parasites in dogs vary depending on the type of parasite identified. Your veterinarian can help you identify the source of the internal parasite once it has been classified.

Hook Wolf
Roundworm

  • Transition from mother dog to puppies in the womb
  • Transmission during breastfeeding
  • Ingestion of the larva
  • Transmission through contact with infected feces

Tape Worm
giardia
coccidia

Diagnosis of Internal Parasites in Dogs

Your veterinarian can diagnose most internal parasites by examining a stool sample under a microscope. The number of eggs or larvae in a stool sample will give your veterinarian an idea of ÔÇőÔÇőhow serious the infestation is. Additionally, the actual interference will also be determined.

Once your veterinarian determines that your dog has an internal parasite infection, he or she will follow a treatment plan.

Internal Parasite Treatment in Dogs

Treatment varies depending on the severity of the infestation and the type of parasite. Always follow the prescribed treatment plan exactly and take necessary precautions to avoid becoming infected with internal parasites.

Hook Wolf

Prescription oral medications will be used to destroy adult hookworms. The treatment plan needs to be repeated several times to ensure all hookworms are eliminated. A fecal exam at each follow-up visit will help your veterinarian determine how effective each treatment is.

Immediately remove any feces your dog defecates from your garden to minimize soil contamination. Place feces in a plastic bag, seal and throw away. Wash any bedding your dog has come into contact with. Always use gloves when handling feces or contaminated bedding.

Roundworm

Most puppies have been placed on a program by their breeders with anti-parasite medications to eliminate roundworm infestations. When your dog is old enough for preventive treatment against heartworms, ask your veterinarian about a medication that also controls intestinal roundworm infections.

Collect all droppings from your garden every day. Use gloves and place feces in a plastic bag to minimize contamination.

Tape Worm

Anti-parasite medications can be given orally or injected. These medications cause the tape worms to dissolve in the intestines, so a follow-up stool examination is necessary to determine whether the infestation has ended.

giardia

Giardia can be difficult to eliminate and different medications may be prescribed. Depending on the severity of the infection, follow-up stool tests and treatments may be required. If your dog is severely dehydrated, IV support may be required, as well as other medications may be injected.

Wash your dog's water bowl every day and offer fresh water several times. Wash any bedding your dog has come into contact with.

coccidia

Anti-parasite medications as well as oral antibiotics may be prescribed. Your veterinarian will perform a follow-up fecal exam. Additional medications may be required.

If your dog is severely dehydrated, IV support may be required. If your dog is suffering from severe diarrhea, anti-diarrhea medication may also be given. Collect all droppings from your garden every day. Use gloves and place feces in a plastic bag to minimize contamination.

Care After Internal Parasites in Dogs

After your dog's anti-parasite treatment is completed, stool tests and follow-up treatments may be required. This depends on your dog's condition and the type of parasite.

Immediately remove any feces your dog defecates from your garden. This prevents your dog from becoming re-infected with the same or a different type of parasite. Place feces in a plastic bag, seal and throw away. Always use gloves when handling feces or contaminated bedding.

If there is something that can be done to prevent your dog from becoming infected with a particular type of internal parasite, your vet will tell you what it is. For example, promptly collecting feces from your garden will prevent many types of internal parasite infections. Additionally, preventative treatments against heartworms are often effective against intestinal roundworms as well.

Remember, take full use of all medications prescribed as part of your dog's internal parasite treatment. Always have all follow-up visits and fecal exams recommended by your veterinarian. Take all necessary steps to prevent recurrence of infection.

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