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Whipworms Overview

What You Need to Know

Found throughout the United States, canine whipworms live in the small intestines of dogs and other mammals. Dogs often ingest whipworm eggs from drinking contaminated water, and different whipworm species can affect different animals. Thankfully, whipworms cannot infect humans. Some common symptoms of whipworm infection include:

  • Anemia
  • Bloody stool
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss

In some rare instances, acute whipworm infestations can cause severe dehydration and anemia and can lead to the death of the infected animal. Puppies and young dogs are the most susceptible to dangerous infections.

Diagnosing Whipworm

A fecal coliform test is typically used to diagnose a whipworm infection. This test requires suspending a small amount of dog waste in a solution. If whipworm eggs are present, they will float to the surface. Since not all waste will contain eggs, this test is not 100% accurate.

Whipworm Infection Treatment

Whipworm eggs are tough to kill, and they can live up to five years in infected soil. Dogs that recover from whipworms can potentially re-infect themselves if they come in contact with more whipworm eggs. Initial treatments involve giving your dog doses of Milbemycin Oxime, a deworming agent, which interferes with the nerve impulses of whipworms. This method often involves two treatments approximately three weeks apart.

Preventing Whipworm Infections

The best way to prevent a whipworm infection is by giving your dog a monthly dose of Milbemycin Oxime. This treatment kills adult worms and ensures they can’t establish themselves in the intestine. Long-term control of whipworms includes quickly and thoroughly cleaning up and disposing of any dog waste on your property. DoodyCalls offers pooper scooper services and can regularly clean up dog waste in your yard to help protect your pup from this infection and others. If you have questions about whipworm, please reach out to your pet's veternarian.

To learn about all of our pet waste removal services, give us a call today at (888) 659-6558.

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