Whipworms are often found in dogs, and spread when infected animals pass the eggs through their stool. But these are no ordinary eggs: they can survive up to 5 years before finding a host and maturing further!
Once inside your pet, whipworms hatch, mature and complete their lifecycle in your dog’s intestinal tract, using your pet as their food source. The good news is that whipworm infections can be treated with a dewormer. But because whipworm eggs remain in contaminated areas for a long time, preventing reinfection requires vigilance. You can help by keeping pet areas clean, regularly removing pet waste in your yard. The use of heartworm preventives that also treat and control whipworms has led to a decline in infections.1
Whipworms are found throughout the United States infecting dogs from coast to coast.
How do dogs get whipworms?
- Pets may ingest whipworm eggs through directly eating dirt or pet stools
- Spending time in a contaminated environment, such as a dog park or even your own backyard
What are the symptoms of whipworms?
Not all pets show symptoms. For those that do, you may notice:
- Bloody stools
- Weight loss
- Recurring weakness
What do whipworms look like?
Whipworms are small, thin and threadlike, and can appear almost translucent, with one end slightly larger than the other, giving it a “whip” shape. Their eggs are not always shed consistently, are microscopic and cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Fight worm infections
Bayer offers effective dewormers for the treatment of whipworms. Find them at pet specialty stores and veterinarian offices.
1https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/whipworm-infections-in-dogs. Accessed 08/31/17.