Whipworm infestation, or trichuriasis, can occur in both dogs and cats of any age or breed. They are typically transmitted when your pet ingests any contaminated matter such as feces or dirt. However, in some cases, they can develop when your pet eats an infested animal such as a mouse. The eggs of these parasites can live in your home and yard for as long as a few months to several years.
How Whipworms Affects Your Pet
What whipworms disease can do to pets depends on how heavily it may be infested. While some animals seem unaffected by these parasites, others develop many pet health problems because of the worms. Severe infestations can often lead to bowel inflammations, intestinal bleeding, dehydration and varying degrees of anemia.
Common Symptoms of Whipworms
The symptoms your pet may display if it has whipworms may vary as well depending on how heavy the infestation is. While some animals may not show any signs of the parasites, other pets may exhibit several symptoms. The following symptoms are all typical of whipworm infestation: Bloody or Mucoid Stools, Chronic or Intermittent Diarrhea, Depression and/or Lethargy, Loss of Appetite, Weight Loss, Anemia/Generalized Weakness, Dehydration, Straining While Eliminating and Pale Gums.
Treatments for Whipworms
There are several medications that are effective in killing whipworms. However, the most commonly used medicine includes Panacur, Vercom paste, Drontal plus and Telmintic. Typically, you will need to take your pet to your veterinarian about three works after the first deworming for a follow-up treatment. To prevent future re-infestation, it is best to have your veterinarian give your pet a third deworming about two to three months after the follow-up dose. It is also essential to keep your pet's living quarters and elimination areas clean to prevent re-infestation. Finally, Interceptor can help prevent whipworms as well.
Whipworms can affect both cats and dogs. Furthermore, since eggs can live outside of their hosts for several years, it can be very easy for your pet to pick them up.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.