Whipworms Signs and Symptoms
Whipworms, Threadworms and Lungworms and why they are a concern to you and your dog
As a dog owner, new or experienced, it is wise to be aware of different types of worms such as whipworms, threadworms, lungworms and parasites and how they affect your dog and your family. Proper preventative measures and treatment are key to controlling these life threatening parasites. Note: these worms affect all canines, and not specific to the chihuahua breed!
Whipworms in your dog can cause excessive diarrhea with mucus and blood in the stool. If your dog has a severe case of whipworms it may lose weight and develop anemia. The adult whipworm is between 2 to 3 inches (50-76mm) long. A whipworm is threadlike and is thicker at one end, which gives the appearance of a whip.
There are a number of medications such as Panacur, Drontal plus, Telmintic and Vercom Paste that are effective in treating whipworms in your chihuahua. To maximize treatment of whipworm it is important to follow up the initial deworming with a second deworming three weeks later and then 3 months later. Pet it chihuahuas has one of the best deworming in a breeding program, deworming at 4 weeks weekly until 9 weeks old. We also use Panacur at 7 weeks old for a three day preventative measure.
Whipworms can stay alive in the environment for up to five years. In areas with heavy traffic and canine interaction such as backyards and parks there is a greater probability for contamination of whipworms. Once treated your dog can still catch whipworms again if they come into contact with a contaminated area. This is why there are strict by-laws in cities for cleaning up after your dog, “pooper-scooper ordinances”. It is very important to clean up after your dog or any dog to prevent contamination of whipworms and other parasites as well as to maintain a clean and healthy environment for dogs and their owners.
Dog note: If you are taking your dog out for socialization, it is important to be in a clean area that is paved or where the gravel is replaced often. Dirt runs are a breeding ground for whipworms and other types of worms and parasites.
Threadworms in dogs:
Threadworms are round worms that are just 2mm long and live in the small intestines. They can infect both dogs and humans. Threadworm eggs and larvae are passed through dog feces and are either ingested or by directly penetrating the skin. Threadworms are mainly a problem in puppies. Puppies that are infected usually have watery or bloody diarrhea that can be fatal. Note: If the threadworms larvae migrate to through to the lungs, your dog may develop Pneumonia. This type of parasite is most commonly found in humid, subtropical regions like Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Mexico just to name a few places.
Threadworms can be diagnosed in your canine by doing a fecal examination from both fresh stools and after incubation. Pet it Dogs.com recommends a five day treatment of Panicur and a re treatment in 30 days. We always recommend that you ask your veterinarian before administering any drugs to your dog. Threadworms are highly contagious between your dog and you, vice versa. Threadworms can cause severe diarrhea in humans. You should always isolate the infected puppies until treated and cured. Take extreme care to avoid any human contact with the feces of your infected canine.
Lungworms & dogs:
Lungworms are a slender hair like parasite that is about 1 cm long and is also called Capillaria aerophila There are many species of lungworm that can affect your dog and also many ways it can be infected. Ingesting the lungworms eggs or from a transport host likes snails, slugs, or rodents. These parasites can reside in your chihuahuas nasal cavities and upper air passages, producing a mild cough with tracheal and bronchial infections which can be kennel related.
If your dog has lungworms, there is a good chance it may only show signs of a mild infection and not show the clinical signs of lungworms. If your dog is heavily infested with lungworms it will have a persistent dry cough, be very lethargic, and will have weight loss.
Treatment of lungworms:
If your dog is showing signs of lungworm, contact your veterinarian to do a proper stool sample immediately. Panacur is often used in the treatment of lungworms in dogs.