Canine roundworms are one of the most common parasites that affect dogs, especially puppies. They have a long, white appearance and look similar to pieces of spaghetti. After entering the body, they will travel to the small intestinal tract where they will attach themselves to the walls.
There are various ways that roundworms can affect puppies. They can become infected if they consume contaminated soil that has infective eggs in it. Infected mothers can also pass the parasites to their pups while nursing. Puppies are more often affected even before birth though. Roundworms in dogs can become a problem in adults that consume an infected animal that harbors the worms.
Canine roundworms will prevent dogs from absorbing food normally. They may develop a pot belly or even pneumonia if the infestation is allowed to progress. The intestine can even become blocked. Some owners notice one of the worms after their pet has vomited it up.
Female roundworms in dogs shed plenty of eggs. Therefore, a vet will be able to determine what the problem is after examining a stool sample. These stool samples should also be tested each time your dog visits the veterinarian just in case there is an unknown problem.
Various deworming medications can be used to treat canine roundworms. Some of them you have to have a prescription for, while others are available over-the-counter. It’s important to note that larvae won’t be affected by these medications. Therefore, another dose of medication will need to be given in a few weeks after the larvae have had time to mature. A third course may even be necessary in some cases.
Medications that prevent heartworms can also work to keep roundworms in dogs at bay. These medications are given on a monthly basis, so all adult worms will be destroyed and larvae will be destroyed also upon becoming adults.