Roundworms in Dogs
Drontal Plus, Vercom Paste, Telmintic, and Panacur have a broad spectrum of
activity and are all highly effective against ascarids, hookworms, and whipworms. Drontal and Vercom
are also highly effective against tapeworms. Panacur is only
partially effective against tapeworms. Deworming the brood bitch with Panacur
during the last two weeks of gestation and during lactation reduces
environmental exposure and helps control puppy infection.
Prevention: Heartworm preventives such as
Interceptor prevent and control ascarids as well as hookworms and whipworms.
Heartgard Plus controls ascarids and hookworms but not whipworms.
Public health considerations: Ascarids can cause a serious disease in humans
called visceral larva migrans. The infection is acquired when the eggs of T.
canis are ingested by a human. Children 1 to 4 years old are most frequently
affected, and often have a history of eating dirt.
When a human eats an ascarid egg, larvae develop as in the dog. However,
because humans are not a definitive host, the larvae do not progress to adult
ascarids. Instead, they burrow into the intestinal wall and migrate to the
liver, lungs, and skin. Symptoms, which develop
only when the infestation is heavy, include abdominal pain, cough, wheezing, itching, and a skin rash with
papules. In a very heavy infestation, larvae may reach the heart, kidneys,
spleen, brain, eyes, and other tissues. In young children, a syndrome called
ocular larva migrans can lead to blindness and necessitate the removal of an eye.
Older children should be instructed not to put soil and sand in their
mouths. Infants and toddlers require parental supervision to prevent this.
Infants and young children should not be allowed to play with and handle
nursing pups until they have mastered the discipline of washing their hands
after petting an animal.