Common Symptoms and Treatments for Dog Parasites in Buffalo Grove, IL 

One of the most common health issues found in dogs around Buffalo Grove is a parasite infection. Toxocara canis, Ancylostoma Caninum, Trichuris Vulpis; it doesn’t matter how fancy the scientific name makes them sound, worms are one of the ickiest parts about dog ownership, and they’re as dangerous as they are disgusting.

              There are five main types of worms found in dogs in the United States and while each of these are different, they all share similar stages of growth. Worms start as eggs and once ingested by a host, these eggs hatch into larvae and move to the host’s intestine. The intestine is where the worm will grow into an adult and begin reproducing. This life cycle takes about four weeks.

So what are these worms called?

Roundworms (toxocara canis)

What they are – Roundworms are the most common type of intestinal worms for dogs. Up to 30% of adult dogs and 70% of puppies are infested with roundworms.

How Can My Dog Get Roundworms in Buffalo Grove? – The parasite can be passed from mother to puppy, either during pregnancy or through nursing. Female roundworms can lay up to 300,000 eggs a day, which are shed in the host dog’s feces. These eggs are able to stay viable and ineffective for as long as five years, and they’re resistant to extreme heat, cold and even disinfectants. Adult roundworms appear either white or light brown and can grow to several inches long.

Common Roundworm Symptoms to Look for in Buffalo Grove

  • Malnourishment and weight loss – Because roundworms live in your dog’s intestines, they will leech some of the nutrients from his food.
  • Potbellied appearance
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Coughing – In some cases, the roundworm larvae may migrate to your dog’s lungs.

Diagnosis – If you suspect your dog has roundworms around Buffalo Grove, schedule an appointment with our veterinarian. Our vet will take a fecal sample to be examined under a microscope, where they will look for the presence of eggs.

Treatment – When roundworms have been diagnosed our vet will prescribe a deworming pill, usually by the name of Drontal. We will advise you to give one to three doses of this drug. Because these broad-spectrum deworming drugs only kill fully developed adult worms, a follow-up treatment should be given.

Hookworms (Ancylostoma Caninum)

What they are – Hookworms are another intestinal parasite that attaches to the lining of your dog’s digestive tract.

How Can My Dog Get Hookworms in Buffalo Grove? – Hookworm eggs are shed in an infected animal’s feces. Once released, hookworms will hatch and live in the soil. Your dog can contract hookworms through sniffing or licking soil with live hookworm larvae, or through walking over it with any small break in the skin. Upon entering the body, the hookworm larvae will begin to mature and eventually end up in the intestines.

Common Hookworm Symptoms to Look for in Buffalo Grove

  • Anemia – A good way to tell if your dog is anemic is by looking at his gums. A healthy dog’s gums should be bright pink but an anemic dog’s gums will be pale or even white.
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Diarrhea, usually with blood and mucus

Diagnosis – You should schedule an appointment with our vet if you see any of the above symptoms. Our staff will take a stool sample which will be studied under a microscope to look for the presence of hookworm eggs.

Treatment – If eggs are found, we will prescribe a broad-spectrum deworming pill. Again, this will only kill adult worms, so another pill will be given in three to four weeks to kill any remaining worms.

dog with buffalo grove veterinarian


Whipworms (Trichuris Vulpis)

What they are – Whipworms live in your dog’s intestines where they attach to the mucosal lining.

How Can My Dog Get Whipworms in Buffalo Grove – Whipworm eggs are released in the feces of an infected animal and can remain alive for up to five years. A dog usually contracts them by ingesting the feces. The eggs will then become active, hatch, and travel to the intestines through the digestive tract.

Common Whipworm Symptoms to Look for in Buffalo Grove

  • Diarrhea, usually accompanied with blood and mucus
  • Weight Loss
  • Anemia

Diagnosis – If you suspect your dog may have whipworms, you should schedule an appointment with our veterinarian immediately. The longer your dog has whipworms, the more the worms will reproduce. Our vet will examine your dog’s stool under a microscope to look for eggs.

Treatment – Whipworms can be treated with a broad-spectrum deworming agent. We will will prescribe three tablets to be given daily. This will only kill the adult worms present, so a follow up fecal examination and pill is suggested.

puppy cuddling with owner

Tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum)

What they are – Tapeworms attach to the lining of the small intestine. Adult worms can reach up to eleven inches long.

How Can My Dog Get Tapeworms in Buffalo Grove – The most common place dogs pick up tapeworms is through fleas. Fleas are a necessary intermediate host to tapeworm larvae. When a dog has tapeworm infected fleas on his fur, he may ingest the flea by licking or chewing a fresh flea bite. As the flea is ingested, the tapeworm larvae travel through the digestive tract and attach to the small intestine.

Common Tapeworm Symptoms to Look for in Buffalo Grove

  • Weight loss
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Diagnosis – Tapeworms break off into small, white, rice-like pieces called segments. These segments are often found in your dog’s stool and around her anus.

Treatment – When these are seen, our vet will diagnose tapeworms and prescribe a broad-spectrum deworming tablet. This will only kill adult worms so further treatment is required.

If you suspect your dog may have worms in Buffalo Grove or the surrounding areas please give our staff a call today or visit our website to schedule an appointment today. 

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About Buffalo Grove Animal Hospital

Buffalo Grove Animal Hospital has been a part of the Buffalo Grove community since 1969. Our veterinarians serve Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, Palatine, and the surrounding areas with the best veterinary medicine year after year. Our commitment to pet health runs deep, and we’ve proven our skill and compassion by becoming an AAHA-accredited Animal Hospital, the highest accreditation veterinary practices can receive.