Among the very common intestinal pests in dogs are whipworms. As compared to cats, these pests are only rare to them. Given the different Trichuris species affecting many host species, “tricuriasis” is the medical term used for the whipworms in dogs.
This types of dog worms are small in size obtaining up to 2-3 inches. They have a thin front end shaped like a whip and have a back end which is relatively thicker. They stick to the large intestines’ walls and suck blood. While most of the infections are minor, heavier whipworms contagions result to critical health difficulties in dogs.
The Life Cycle of Whipworms
The life cycle of this worms is only simple. Whipworm eggs transfer down in the feces. After 2-4 weeks being in the surrounding, they become infectious given some conditions. The eggs are swallowed by the dogs maybe when they eat things from the ground or during self-grooming; then, once they are in the small intestine, they begin to hatch.
In due time the larvae moves towards the large intestine. Before it reach maturity and be able to produce more eggs, it will take about 11 weeks. The eggs can last for a long time in the surroundings.
Signs and Symptoms of Whipworms in Dogs
Normally, there are no symptoms for minor infections in dogs. Nonetheless, as the infections become more serious swelling of the large intestine can occur along with some symptoms such as weight loss, diarrhea, mucous or blood in stool and anemia.
In some rare cases, whipworm contagions result to a condition same as that of an Addison’s disease. This condition involves periodic events of paleness and electrolyte imbalance. However, the mechanics of this result is still poorly recognized. Cats, on the other hand, usually experience minor infections and lack signs.
Diagnosis of Whipworms In Dogs
A test called fecal flotation is used to diagnose whipworms where in their eggs are detected in a sample stool through the use of a microscope. Nonetheless, it takes a hard time to detect the eggs since female whipworms occasionally produce eggs not like roundworms and hookworms. Repetitive tests may be required and once a whipworm contagion is detected even without the eggs, appropriate treatment should be done.
Treatment for Whipworms
Similiar with canine heartworms, whipworms in dogs can be treated through different types of medication. Your veterinarian can guide you to choose the appropriate medication for your pet. In order to achieve the best result, repetitive treatments should be done.
There is a possibility for the eggs to re-infect in the environment because they can survive for a long duration of time. A parasite preventive done monthly may be recommended by your vet. To prevent contagions from whipworms, make sure to keep your dogs’ wastes punctually picked up.
Whipworms In Dogs and People
Rare controversies regarding people becoming infested with dog whipworms are heard these days. Nonetheless, whipworms in dogs should not be regarded risky to the health of humans.