Whipworms in Dogs
The whipworm is a thin, threadlike worm that looks like a whip and lives in the large intestine, where it attaches itself and feeds on blood. Eggs are passed in the feces but take four weeks to be infectious. Once ingested, infected eggs develop into larvae that move from the small intestine to the large intestine where the adults mature. Most dogs with whipworm exhibit no symptoms when infected, however the intestine can become inflamed as the number of worms increases.
Symptoms of Whipworms in Dogs
- weight loss
- mucous or blood in stool
- anemia (pale gums, weakness) can be seen with chronic, heavy infections
Whipworm eggs take a month to become infectious therefore they can be easily controlled through good sanitation and the prompt removal of feces. Whipworms can also be rendered ineffective through drying, so keep the your dog's living space clean and dry. Regular deworming is a safe way to control worms.