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Roundworms in Dogs

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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.

 

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WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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