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Dog Parasite Information

Identifying Tapeworm, Roundworm, Hookworm and Whipworm


Worms are dog parasites that inhabit the intestines of many animals. They are commonly found in puppies and young dogs and are usually not a life threatening problem. Puppies usually acquire these dog parasites, especially roundworms, from the mother before or right after their birth.

Young and old dogs infested with fleas or those that eat gophers also acquire the dog parasite tapeworm. Finally, older dogs are more susceptible to dog parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.

The tapeworm is a dog parasite that grows in the small intestine. Each worm has a head that remains attached to the intestine as well as dozens of egg filled segments that break off and pass out along with the feces. These passed segments look like rice grains of cream colored maggots. They are about a quarter to one half of an inch long and are visible in the fresh stool or around the dog's anus.

This type of dog parasite moves about for a while but does not crawl fast. After the feces dries out, the segments look very much like a piece of white rice attached to a hair near the anus.

Roundworms are dog parasites that inhabit the dog's small intestines and also the large intestines. This type of dog parasite infests mostly young puppies and is acquired from their mother either before or right after birth. Infestation from this dog parasite is not apparent and would need to be diagnosed by a vet by means of examining the feces. Infestation from this type of dog parasite could either be light, medium, or heavy.

Hookworms are another variety of a dog parasite. Although this type of dog parasite is not as common in this country as the tapeworm or roundworm, contamination from this dog parasite should still be treated.

This dog parasite is mostly found in areas where crowded and unsanitary conditions exist. Severe hookworm infestation is serious because the worms suck the animal's blood and cause anemia. In this case, it is best to consult your vet. Severe infestation in puppies causes loss of blood in the intestine.

The Whipworm is a dog parasite that is quite common but usually causes no symptom. This dog parasite usually remains dormant for a long time. However, if symptoms exist, it is usually a persistent watery diarrhea.


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