WARDING OFF INTESTINAL PARASITES

Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms and whipworms can be a danger to dogs. That’s why broad-spectrum parasite protection is important to help keep your dog healthy. Trifexis® (spinosad + milbemycin oxime) protects dogs against three types of intestinal parasites with just one chewable tablet each month.

If your dog has intestinal parasites, the parasitic infection could cause symptoms such as:1, 2, 3

  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Anemia
  • Blood loss
  • Inflammation of large intestine
  • Coughing
  • Even death, if left untreated

Talk to your veterinarian about year-round, monthly parasite control to see how Trifexis can be your first line of defense against intestinal parasites.

What are intestinal parasites?

In a word, intestinal parasites are worms. Roundworms, hookworms and whipworms live in your dog’s body and grow to adulthood in the intestinal tract. Each follows its own lifecycle and can be contracted in different ways by your dog: 1, 2, 3

  • By ingesting
    • Feces
    • Ingestion of other vertebrate or invertebrate hosts (ex. rodents, birds, cockroaches, earthworms)
    • Contaminated soil (by licking paws or toys)
  • Directly through the skin
  • Directly from their mother before birth or via milk

Some intestinal parasite eggs are incredibly resistant to environmental changes and can remain dormant in the soil for several years before infecting your dog or a member of your family. 1, 3

Roundworms1

Roundworms are extremely common parasites for pets throughout the world. Young pups tend to experience the most severe effects of disease caused by roundworm infection. And dogs can even become infected over and over:

Roundworm lifecycle (Toxocara canis)

Roundworm Lifecycle

Approximately 2-4 weeks after infection, adult roundworms release eggs in the dog’s small intestine.

Eggs are passed in the feces.

Eggs develop in the environment and become infective 2-4 weeks after being passed in feces.

Infective eggs may be ingested by your pet, directly from the environment.

Paratenic hosts, such as earthworms and field mice, ingest infective eggs and become carriers of larvae that arrest in somatic tissues.

Humans may accidentally consume infective roundworm eggs, which can lead to the development of a zoonotic disease affecting the eye, brain and/or other organs.

An infected vertebrate paratenic host is consumed and larvae are released in the dog’s small intestine where they become adult worms.

Larvae are released from infective eggs, burrow through the intestinal wall, move through the dog’s liver and lungs, are coughed up, swallowed and mature within the small intestine. During this migration, some may stop development and arrest in the somatic tissues.

Puppies may become infected by larvae through the placenta during pregnancy or the milk during nursing.

Roundworm lifecycle (Toxascaris leonina)

ROUNDWORM LIFECYCLE FOR TOXASCARIS LEONINA AND TOXOCARA CANIS

Approximately 8-10 weeks after infection, adult roundworms release eggs in the dog’s small intestine. 

Eggs are passed in the feces.

Eggs develop in the environment and become infective approximately 1 week after being passed in feces.

Infective eggs may be ingested by your pet, directly from the environment.

Paratenic hosts, such as earthworms and field mice, ingest infective eggs and become carriers of larvae that arrest in somatic tissues.

An infected vertebrate paratenic host is consumed and larvae are released in the dog’s small intestine where they become adult worms. 

Larvae are released from infective eggs and mature in the dog’s intestinal tract. 

Hookworms2

In dogs, hookworm (Ancylostoma caninum) infection is associated with:

  • Failure to thrive 
  • Diarrhea
  • Anemia
  • Dehydration

Hookworm lifecycle

hookworm lifecycle

Inside the dog’s small intestine, adult female hookworms release eggs.

Eggs are released in feces approximately 10-21 days after infection.

Feces contaminate soil in your yard where immature worms develop from the eggs in about a week.

By walking or playing where dogs frequent, immature worms can infect humans through exposure to unprotected skin.

Contaminated soil on toys or dog’s paws may put the dog at risk of infection if ingested.

Immature worms can remain dormant in your dog’s skeletal muscle.

Skin may be penetrated by immature worms in contaminated soil.

A puppy may become infected through milk when larvae migrate to their mother’s mammary glands.

Whipworms3

Dogs can become infected with whipworms (Trichuris vulpis) by ingesting whipworm eggs from a contaminated environment. Many whipworm infections are asymptomatic, but can result in:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Even death, in severe cases

Whipworm lifecycle

Whipworm Lifecycle

Inside the dog’s large intestine, adult whipworms live and release eggs.

Eggs are released in feces 74-90 days after infection.

Eggs contaminate the soil in your yard, where they may persist for years.

Invisible to the naked eye, larvae develop in eggs and become infective in 9-21 days.

Contaminated soil on toys or dog’s paws may put the dog at risk of infection if embryonated eggs are ingested.

After ingestion, larvae hatch from eggs and are released into the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, penetrate the intestinal wall, develop for 2-10 days then move to the cecum where they mature into adults.

Intestinal parasites can be dangerous for your dog

It’s vital to protect your dogs and cats from intestinal parasite infections because they can be passed from one pet to another. That’s why the Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends administering year-round protection to control internal and external parasites.4 Trifexis protects dogs against hookworm, roundworm and whipworm infections–three dangerous parasites—as well as fleas and heartworm disease.

Learn more about Trifexis

Parasites can also raise human health concerns5

Intestinal parasites can also be a danger to you. Some zoonotic diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans. Anyone who comes in contact with fecal-contaminated soil is at risk. Individuals with compromised immune systems may suffer severely from these opportunistic infections, including infants and the elderly.