Canine Intestinal Worms
The most common intestinal parasites affecting dogs are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms. In addition, roundworms and hookworms can be transmitted to humans. Roundworms are a threat to children that eat dirt. These worms can damage the retina of the eye leading to blindness. They can also infect the brain and spinal cord which can be fatal. Approximately three percent of people in the United States test positive for roundworm infections. Hookworms can penetrate the skin and cause “Plumbers Itch”. This is typical in those walking barefoot on the beach as well as electricians and plumbers who crawl under raised buildings.
* Roundworms cause puppies to develop a rough haircoat and a potbelly. They may experience vomiting and/or diarrhea. Most adult dogs with roundworms show no signs; occasionally they have vomiting and diarrhea.
* Hookworms attach to the wall of the small intestines, suck blood and cause anemia, which can be life threatening in puppies.
* Tapeworms cause few symptoms other than a rough haircoat and unthrifty appearance.
* Whipworms cause diarrhea and weight loss in adult dogs. They only lay eggs periodically so are tough to detect on fecal exams.
* Almost all puppies are born with roundworms in their lungs. At 21 days of age, pups can pass the eggs in their feces. If these eggs are swallowed again further infection results. Infection with hookworms and whipworms can also result from ingesting microscopic eggs on the ground. Normally worm eggs are microscopic but in severe cases the adult worms may appear in the vomitus or diarrhea of infected puppies.
There are two types of tapeworms in dogs:
* Fleas transmit a form called Dipylidium canium. The flea deposits the larval form of the worm in the dog’s blood, prior to withdrawing its blood meal. Three months later owners see flat white, rice-like segments in the dog’s stool or on the anal area.
* Dogs contract the second type, Taenia, by eating infected rodents and rabbits. Whipworms, Trichuris Vulpis, attach to the large intestine and cause chronic diarrhea, weight loss and anemia in dogs. Cats are not susceptible.
WHAT YOUR VET CAN DO
Worms are usually detected by a microscopic examination of your dog’s stool. Safe, effective treatments for all of these worms are available through your vet. Most new over-the-counter products labeled for flea and heartworm prevention have the added advantage of controlling intestinal parasites in dogs and cats. Sentinel is a tablet given monthly that controls heartworms, fleas and intestinal parasites. Program is also a tablet that prevents fleas and intestinal worms. Revolution is a liquid product applied to the skin between the shoulder blades at 30-day intervals, it controls heartworms, fleas and intestinal worms. Advantage is a monthly liquid labeled for fleas and intestinal parasites.
If a dog had a tape worm or some other parasite, would they have a temperature. My dog has lost weight, his skin is getting dry. He does have diarhea and throws up. His stool was tested. Would it show up in a sample? He does not act sick. He seems to want to eat but he is not gaining weight. The vet wants an ultra sound. She seems to think he has cancer. Would he have an appetite if he had cancer? I just want to rule out parasites before I test him for cancer. He is 10 years old and pretty active still.
Worms in my experience do not cause a temperature spike in dogs, they can cause diarrhea. Your dog should have complete blood work done and a urinalysis. 2nd ax-rays would be taken prior to an ultrasound. As far as the fact that he is eating but not gaining weight,many factors may be responsible. What do you feed him? I can help you and am glad work with you. I am available toll free at 1-866-372-2765.
Hello Dr. Carol,
I found you online while doing research on cancer in dogs. I think my 7 uear old female Airedale might have cancer and I was trying to educate myself on how to help make her as comfortable as possible. Do dogs with cancer have sticky-like gums? It all started about 7 weeks ago with real watery almost black diarrhea and not herself. Tired and eating still at this time.Took her to the vet and they did a fecal and said she had giardia parasites and treated her with 2 rounds of Metronidazole, but that did not help. Did another fecal and the giardia was gone and treated her with Amoxy and fortflora. Still not better so I took her to another Vet because she was losing her appetite and still had diarrhea after 5 weeks. She has been drinking well throughtout all this time. The Vet did the CBC, Giardia, BLD chemistry profile, Heartworm/Tick, fecals. She had a temp of 103 and elevated white cell count. She had lost about 17 lbs. Her normal weight is 68lbs. to 70 lbs. Nothing showed up so the vet said she probably had cancer. He gave her an injection of Dexamethasone. Said it was antibiotic and steroid. She was better and started eating and more energy for about 5 days then went right back to where she was before. They put her on some Prednisone hoping that would give her some energy and she would eat. She has been on it 2 days now and still will not eat. We have seen blood in what little watery ellimination she is getting out. She is still not eating. When it started 7 weeks ago her poops were really dark and real stinky. They have lightened up some and do not smell as bad now. Temp is normal. She totally quit eating and I had to force feed her last week. Her gums seem to be sticky-like. She is drinking well still but losing more weight because she is not eating. I ordered some natural Plantaeris for her hoping that would help. It is supposed to build her immune system and heal the intestines. Is there anything I can do more to make her eat so she won’t die because of not eating? I got some baby rice and chicken to feed her through a big shringe I have. I have to pry her mouth open just to get the prednisone pill in her. and food. She is moving around and alert though. Just won’t eat and when she does she has the watery elliminations that have a little bit of a red tint now. Nothing solid in the last 7 weeks but maybe four softstools but mostly watery elliminations which for the past week have not been but once evey day to every couple of days. Can you please advise or recommend how I can make it as easy as possible for her?
Thanks, Gayle Walker
It sounds like your dog may have an ulcer causing the smelly dark diarrhea. Her gums are sicky because she is dehydrated and needs fluids. I would take her to your vet. She needs fluids either Sub-cutaneous fluids, which are easier and less streessful or intravenous fluids. The vet can run an occult blood test on her stool to detect blood and diagnose the ulcer. Ask your vet for Tylan-this will stop the diarrhea within 1-2 days and give it for 3 days after her stool is formed normally. Ask your vet for carafate to coat her stomach and intestines. She needs probiotics and digestive enzymes to settle her stomach and intestines and replace the bad bacteria with good bacteria so she can digest and absorb her food. You can get the last two items at chagrinfallspetclinic.com.
I am glad to review her blood etc and talk to you to help further. I am available toll free at 1 866 372 2765