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Roundworm

Stages of development of Toxocara canis. a) Toxocara canis (x10) egg with immature one cell stage embryo. b) Toxocara canis (x40) egg with immature one cell stage embryo. c) Toxocara canis egg (x100) with immature one cell stage embryo. d) Toxocara canis egg (x40) after 1 weeks of development. e) Toxocara canis egg (x40) after 2 weeks of development. f) Toxocara canis (x100) mature egg containg 2 nd stage larvae after 3 weeks. g) Toxocara canis male (canine roundworm) from a puppy 4-10 cm long, the posterior end of the male is curved ventrally. h) Toxocara canis female (canine roundworm) from a puppy 5-18 cm long 

Roundworms (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine)

There are two types of roundworm; toxocara canis and toxascaris leonine.  These long, spaghetti like parasites live inside and feed off the intestines. The toxocara canis larvae can, however, burrow its way into the lungs to develop then travel up the airways where it will be coughed up and swallowed again, returning to the intestine and completing its life cycle.

What are the symptoms of roundworms?

Not all dogs show symptoms, so the first time you become aware of your dog being infected with roundworms will be when you notice them in his faeces or vomit.  Symptoms your dog may show are: –

  • Weight loss
  • Bloated stomach
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Dull coat

If you pet is showing any of these symptom, take him to your vet.

How do dogs get roundworms?

Puppies are at most risk as they can become infected from their mother from before birth or by drinking her milk.  All dogs are at risk if they eat the roundworm eggs which may be found in another animals feaces, contaminated soil or by eating small infected animals such as mice.  Once consumed the eggs can hatch and begin their life cycle.

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