Roundworms are a type of parasitic worm that can infect both dogs and cats. The worms are passed from animal to animal by ingesting their feces or eggs, and can cause serious health problems if left untreated.
In this article we will explore the basics of puppy roundworms. We will discuss how puppies become infected with roundworms, their life cycle, and how puppies can be treated for roundworms. We will also look at important preventive steps pet owners should take to avoid transmitting puppy roundworms.
What are Roundworms in Puppies
Roundworms are one of the most common health problems. Roundworm eggs are shed in the feces of an infected animal and they can contaminate objects, food and water. This makes it easy for them to transfer these eggs to other animals like puppies. It is important that every owner knows what roundworms in puppies look like to know when they should visit a vet.
Roundworms in Puppies: The Life Cycle
The life cycle of roundworms consists of four stages:
Egg, Larvae, Pupa and Adult.
It takes about 10 days for the eggs to hatch into larvae after being passed in feces. The puppy can ingest these larvae by licking its own paws or muzzle. After that they pass into the stomach where they are ingested through food or water consumption. Once the parasite has reached the stomach it will penetrate the wall of the intestine and enter the blood stream. From there they are carried throughout the body until they reach muscle tissue, where they stay for about three months. After this time period it is possible that thousands of larvae can be found in a puppy’s muscles.
The larvae move on through the bloodstream to the heart, lungs and liver where they become a pupa. The pupal stage takes about two weeks. In the liver the larvae grow and travel back to the muscles where they can be found 5 months after infection, as adults.
Adult worms mate in the small intestine of the infected dog and produce up to one million eggs per day. These eggs are passed into the feces and the infection begins anew. Evidence of roundworms in puppies is often first seen as small, white worms that resemble spaghetti and can be found around the anus or near the dog’s rectum.
How to Deal with Roundworms
It is very important for every owner to know what kind of parasite their puppy has. Different types of worms require different types of medication to be eradicated. The larvae can sometimes be found underneath the puppy’s tongue or in the front paws, so if you find any traces of this then take your puppy immediately to a veterinarian for an examination.
Your vet will conduct a fecal test and prescribe the right medicine needed to get rid of the parasite. Puppies should be dewormed on a regular basis to prevent any infections.
If your puppy’s worms are not treated you might notice that they get progressively worse. This can be very dangerous for the little one, which can lead to different diseases. Not only will the parasites suck out important nutrients of the dog, but it can also cause anemia.
Symptoms and Prevention
The most common symptoms that can indicate your puppy has roundworms are diarrhea, stomach pain, tugging on the body as if trying to pass stool, vomiting and weight loss. It is important to note that some puppies do not show any signs of the infection so you need to be aware of the importance of deworming on a regular basis.
Every owner should be aware that puppies can only get roundworms from another animal with an adult roundworm by ingesting their feces or eggs, so as long as you practice proper parasite prevention and keep your floors clean, your puppy will never risk getting worms.
In order to prevent your puppy from getting infected you need to either introduce the young one to the outdoors gradually, or train it in a kennel. Whatever you do, just make sure that they have no access to contaminated feces and they will remain healthy.
If your puppy has roundworms in puppies don’t panic! Give your pet a bath with warm water and dish soap to kill any larvae that might be stuck on the puppies fur. Be aware that if your dog is infected you must also take precautions as it can infect other animals or humans.
If your pet gets re-infected it’s important to know that they are not contagious, but a carrier of roundworms. The only permanent way to get rid of the infection is to visit a veterinarian and ask for proper medication. The only way dogs can spread the parasites is when they scratch themselves after licking their anus or paws. This will lead any larvae to be released in the air where it could contaminate your home environment.