Animal Health
August 20, 2004
Canine internal parasites

Dogs can be infected with a variety of worm species. These are classified as round worms, hook worms, whip worms, tape worms, lung worms and heart worms due to their shape and location.
The most common species found in dogs are:
Toxocara canis, Toxocara leonina and Diphylidium canis. Their presence severely alters the health and productivity of dogs.{{more}}
Almost every puppy is born with a level of round worm infestation and all are exposed to the infestation as soon as they suckle. This is due to the ability of these worms to infect puppies even before they are born.
Bitches (females), which are not adequately dewormed before pregnancy, are at a high risk of having puppies that are worm infected. These adult dogs have round worm larvae lying dormant in their muscle and other tissue. Hormones released during pregnancy stimulate the migration of these larvae to the intestine and uterus and make their way to the blood stream of the unborn.
Puppies also acquire these worms directly from their mother’s milk and indirectly from her stool.
Adult dogs do have a social life and this affects greatly the grade of worm infestation. Dogs that are constantly on the street are at a higher risk of picking up worms
than one that is confined to an area.
Next week we will deal with worm prevention
and control.