Determining If Your Dog Has a Roundworm Infection

Dog roundworm infections are most commonly found in puppies and are treated with a course of medication administered over the period of approximately eight weeks or longer if necessary. In a dog roundworm is difficult to diagnose because the worms are only noticeable after significant infection has occurred. In order to determine whether or not your dog has a roundworm infection it is also important to know how they can contract the infection.

How a Dog Develops a Roundworm Infection

Most dogs contract roundworms during gestation or right after birth. Mothers infected with roundworms can pass the infection on to her puppies before they are born or through her milk after birth. A dog diet that consists of the occasional prey may develop a roundworm infection due to eating infecting animals. In addition, some dogs pick up the infection through normal grooming habits as they clean their bodies of dirt from their normal outdoor environment.

Step One: Looking for Roundworm Symptoms

There are many symptoms that a dog may have when infected with roundworm. Early warning signs of roundworm infection are similar to symptoms of other illnesses dogs may contract, which can make it difficult for owners to know if the symptoms are roundworm related or due to another illness. Symptoms of roundworm infection included diarrhea, vomiting, and lack of energy, potbelly, gas, a dull coat and a slow growth rate in puppies. Puppies may also develop a cough, which can mean that the worm larvae and eggs have traveled to the puppy's lungs.

Step Two: Examining the Feces for Worms

The most common way people find out about their dog's roundworm infection is when they notice a worm in the dog's stool, which has been expelled because too many worms are living in the digestive track. By the time you see the worms in your dog's stool the infection is fairly advanced.

Step Three: Collect Feces Samples

If you have noticed roundworm symptoms in your dog or if you have discovered worms in your dog's feces, it is time to make an appointment with your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis. In order to ensure an accurate diagnosis you will need to provide a sample of your dog's feces to the veterinarian.

Step Four: Be Prepared to Discuss the Symptoms

After collecting the feces, you must also make sure you know when your dog began exhibiting symptoms of roundworm infection. You should also be able to provide your veterinarian with a list of what the symptoms are.

With a feces sample and an accurate history of your dog's symptoms, the veterinarian should be able to accurately diagnose your dog's illness. When it comes to treatment, most veterinarians will offer deworming medication annually regardless of a known infection. Annual deworming treatment is an excellent way to help prevent your dog from developing a roundworm infection.