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Healthy Dogs

Roundworms in Dogs

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Prevention

Roundworms spread easily. One roundworm can produce up to 85,000 eggs a day. But you can do a lot of things to ward them off.

  • Deworm your puppy when he’s young. The best time to start is before he’s 3 weeks old.
  • If your dog is a female, treat her before she breeds and again during pregnancy.
  • Keep things clean, including the areas where he eats, sleeps, and plays. Throw away his poop properly. Clean up after him in your yard and also in the park. Don’t let your dog use a playground or sandbox as a litterbox.
  • Keep your dog away from small, wild animals. They can carry roundworms. Consider keeping him on a leash or in a fenced yard.
  • Give your dog drugs to prevent heartworms. Many have ingredients that also prevent roundworms.
  • Talk to your doctor about possibly deworming your dog every so often if he’s at high risk of an infection.

Risk to Humans

It’s rare, but roundworms can cause problems in people. If you have contact with dog poop or soil that’s contaminated, you may get an infection. That can lead to eye, lung, heart, and neurological problems.

Kids have a higher risk and may get infected by ingesting eggs that are in soil or dog poop. Keep them away from areas where dogs have used the bathroom. Be sure they wash their hands regularly.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on October 05, 2014
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