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Canine Health Information

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Roundworms

Issue Description
Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasites found in dogs - and especially in young puppies, that are often infected at birth, or soon thereafter.


Causes
The larvae of one of the roundworms - Toxocara canis - lie dormant in the tissues of most adult female dogs. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can activate these larvae, which then migrate through the placenta to infect the unborn puppies.

Some immature forms of canine roundworms can also be transmitted through the nursing mother's milk, although this is a less common route of infection.

Puppies can also become infected by eating dirt or feces containing worm eggs and larvae, by licking contaminated fur or paws, or by drinking contaminated water.

Most adult dogs become infected through contact with worm eggs and larvae in the environment.


Symptoms and Diagnosis
Puppies affected by roundworm often vomit them up putting these worms up for display. Coughing, developing a potbelly, diarrhea, weakness, emaciation (extreme weight loss) and pneumonia are all common signs and can be severe enough to cause death if not treated soon enough.

Treatment
Prevention and treatment are nearly one in the same. Regular deworming is a popular choice as the same medication the treats or kills the worms in its various stages is also nicely suited to ensure that when your canine companion gets contaminated, the parasites are killed on the spot.

Dogs
Horse Herd