Whipworms are intestinal parasites that are around 6 mm long. They live in the colon (large intestine) and cecum of pets where they cause extreme irritation to the lining of those organs. Whipworm infection results in general weakness, weight loss, andwatery, bloody diarrhea. They’re one of the most pathogenic worms found in pets. Older dogs are more likely to have a whipworm burden than younger dogs.
Clinical Signs You Need To Watch Out For
Light whipworm infections are normally asymptomatic. Heavy infections, even in adult animals, can produce clinical symptoms of large intestinal diarrhea, and feces can contain mucous and fresh blood. Anorexia, weight loss, colic and anemia may also occur. Some cases have been also linked to Addison’s disease (primary adrenal insufficiency and hypoadrenalism).
How Is Whipworm In Pets Diagnosed?
Whipworm infection is detected by identifying the characteristic eggs during a microscopic stool examination. Several samples may be needed since small numbers of eggs move through these parasites on an irregular basis. Any pet with chronic diarrhea could fairly be suspected of having whipworms, irrespective of multiple negative stool tests.It is recommended to treat whipworms on the basis of suspicion of infection when chronic or refractory diarrhea is present.
Whipworm In Pets Treatment:
Several de-worming medicines are available for the treatment of this disease. If severe blood loss or dehydration has occurred, hospitalization, fluid therapy, and additional medication may be required. After treatment, an additional stool sample should be tested to confirm the complete removal of parasites.
How To Prevent Whipworm In Pets?
There are a number of prevention tips pet parents can take to minimize your pet’s chances of picking up parasites. Below are simple measures to keep your pet whipworm-free:
De-worm at the earliest possible stage:Get rid of whipworms passed from the mother of the pet through de-worming procedure every two weeks until the age of 6 or 8 weeks.
Wash Your Pet And Their Things Daily: Wash your pet’s feces from your garden periodically and change their bedding to ensure that all unwanted larvae and worms are removed.
Minimize Contact: Your pet needs some social time with other animals, but limiting this time to a minimum decreases the chances of transfer.
Regular Veterinary Checks:Get your pet checked regularly by a vet, as pets with a mild whipworm infection can show no symptoms at all.