Internal Parasites Ebook
Internal parasites are organisms that live inside animals or humans. The most common internal parasites of dogs (including Labs) are roundworms and hookworms. As adults, these parasites live in the intestines, but during development the immature parasites (larvae) migrate through various body tissues before arriving at their final destination. Other intestinal parasites include whipworms and tapeworms. Not all internal parasites are found in the digestive tract heartworms, for instance, live in the blood vessels and heart.
You may discover that your Lab has roundworms by seeing the adult roundworms (white, two to three inches long, about one-eighth of an inch in diameter) in the stool. Tapeworm infestation may be evidenced by the presence of small, rice-size tapeworm segments in the stool or around the anus. However, just because you don't see worms in the stool doesn't mean your Lab is free from internal parasites. Some worms, such as hookworms, are too small to be seen with the naked eye. The worms that can be seen are only periodically shed in the Lab's feces. Intestinal parasites usually cause few signs of disease in healthy adult dogs. In puppies, however, they can cause diarrhea, bloating, weight loss, and in the case of hookworms, which feed on blood, anemia. Heartworm infestation doesn't cause any signs of disease until the worms become large enough to obstruct the blood vessels of the lungs and heart. The most reliable way to determine whether your Lab has internal parasites is to have your...
On your first visit to the veterinarian with your new dog, the vet should check your APBT for internal parasites, such as intestinal worms and heartworms. Your veterinarian will need a sample of your APBT's stool to check for round-worms, whipworms, tapeworms, and hookworms, while a blood test is necessary to detect heartworms. No matter how carefully you care for your APBT, she can still become infested with all of these worms except heartworm. Well-cared-for dogs shouldn't get heartworm, because their owners give them the preventive medication prescribed by their veterinarian.
Your healthy Lab needs regular veterinary care so she'll stay healthy. Even if she's never sick and she never gets hurt, she'll still need to be immunized periodically to protect her from serious diseases. She'll still need to be checked for internal parasites and treated if necessary. She'll still need regular dental prophylaxis. If she doesn't receive this care, she probably won't stay healthy for very long. In addition, getting regular care means your veterinarian will be able to check your Lab for problems that may be just starting, including some that you might not be aware of such as eye problems, heart problems and suspicious lumps. Health problems that are detected early usually have a better chance of being successfully treated. So if you must scrimp scrimp on your Lab's toys or her dog treats, but don't scrimp on her health care
It may not be possible for you to achieve 100 control or elimination of internal parasites. The best you can hope for is to minimize or reduce the dog's chances of infection. This you do by trying to prevent your dog from coming into contact with infected matter, and by breaking up the life cycle of internal parasites.
Dogs of all ages can become infected with roundworms, hookworms and whipworms, although roundworms are less commonly seen in adult dogs. Infection occurs when the dog ingests feces or soil containing worm eggs. Hookworm larvae can also gain access to the dog's body by penetrating the skin. Note that all commonly occurring canine internal parasites can be reintroduced into the environment by the host dog.
Internal parasites can be maddening, dangerous, and a major problem for dog owners. You can't see them, and often the symptoms aren't major or obvious. Heartworms are one of the most well-known internal parasites and can be easily prevented with a regular heartworm treatment. You know that they're transmitted through mosquitoes and grow inside the heart until they completely block heart functions and lead to heart failure. Coughing, weight loss, and fainting can be indicators that heartworms are present in your pooch, so get to the vet if you notice one of those symptoms. Because the worms can cause respiratory problems, stop all exercise. Your vet will recommend a treatment based on the severity of the problems, which may include medication injections, aspirin, treatment for heart failure, and regular testing.
All animals harbor internal parasites. Some of these parasites, such as the intestinal flora, are beneficial. Others, such as the protozoa and worms, can cause severe damage and even death, if left unchecked. Dogs come in for a share of these internal parasites. Of the two major types of internal parasites infesting dogs worms and protozoa worms are by far the most common and troublesome. Every dog owner should know something about the life cycles of the various worms and protozoa and how these parasites enter the dog's body. While there are treatments and drugs to expel these parasites, your dog can become reinfested at any time. Only by breaking up or destroying the life cycles of these parasites can reinfestation be prevented. Prevention, then, is your best weapon against internal parasites.
Your puppy's state of health will affect his ability to be successfully housetrained (housebroken). Which is why, it is important for him to be seen by a vet within 48 hours of his coming home from the breeder or animal shelter. If your puppy does not receive a clean bill of health , it is important that any physical conditions that can impede successful housetraining (such as cystitis, bladder infection) be properly treated. A fecal check will determine whether worms or internal parasites are present. (There are several types of worms that are not visible except under a microscope. Also, fleas can cause tapeworm.)