All dogs are susceptible to both internal and external parasitic infestations. One common dog health problem is worm infestation. The two common worms that cause dog health problems are the tapeworm and the roundworm.
The tapeworm is a dog health problem that affects dogs at any age, but they are less common in young puppies than in older dogs. Tapeworms have a life cycle that depends on two different types of host species, in the case of the most often seen worm, the dog and the dog’s fleas.
Tapeworms are usually recognized as very similar to rice grains in the feces. Your dog may show a symptom of this common dog health problem by frequently licking and cleaning his anal region.
Controlling your dogs tapeworm problem is simple. Modern veterinarian treatments are trouble free. These treatments do not require fasting before the treatment. They are very effective in curing this dog health problem with very little side effects, of occasional vomiting.
Roundworm is another dog health problem that occurs mostly in puppies. This parasite is usually transmitted directly from dog to dog by fecal contamination. This type of contamination is very difficult to avoid. Many of our puppies are actually born infected with this type of parasite. It is transmitted through the uterus of the mother. Worms that are inactive in the mother’s tissues are activated by the pregnancy hormones and then circulate in the mother’s bloodstreams, passing into the unborn puppies.
There are ways to control roundworms using a safe anthelmintic (type of drug used to destroy parasite worms) early on pregnancy to destroy the mother’s worm load. Another way of treating this parasite is treating the litter at three or four weeks of age, and then repeating the treatment before leaving the kennels. Once your puppy arrives home, he should be treated on a regular basis. Treatment should be done every three to four weeks until your puppy is six months old.
Adult dogs usually build up immunity to the effects of the dog health problem of roundworm infestations and do not require regular treatment after six months of age. However, you need to keep an eye on your pup, because roundworms are not always easy to detect in your dog’s feces. There are effective drug treatments against these dog health problems that are applied in one dose. You may also give your older dog this type of treatment once every six months.