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Roundworm in Dogs

Roundworms are classified as nematodes and vary in size and appearance. The overall characteristics of a roundworm are similar to that of a garden earthworm; they are commonly a white to light pink/brown colour. There are different species of roundworm: Toxocara canis found in dogs and puppies, Toxocara cati found in cats and kittens and Toxocaris leonine which can affect both cats and dogs.

The life cycle of a roundworm can vary and may involve an intermediate host. Roundworms in dogs live in the intestines of their host. Toxocara canis eggs are passed into the environment in the dog’s faeces. In the environment the eggs, protected by a tough outer shell, mature to larvae and the life cycle continues. Humans can become infected with roundworms through the environment or from contract with their dog.

Some dogs do not show any symptoms of roundworm infestation. However symptoms may include vomiting, sometimes vomiting up the worms, diarrhoea, constipation and foul breath, with severe infestations possibly causing anaemia and bowel obstruction.

Regular worming of your dog with a suitable a dog wormer will limit the number of eggs found in the environment and reduce the possibility of re-infection.

Hookworms (Uncinaria and Ancylostoma) are another type of nematode (roundworm) which affects both dogs and cats. They are a growing problem in the UK largely because so many foxes are infected by hookworms and are also often found in kennelled dogs. Hookworms have a simple life cycle, penetrating the skin of their host and migrating to the small intestines. Hookworms can cause anaemia, diarrhoea, weight loss and lethargy to the dog. Eggs are passed into the environment through the dog’s faeces.

Before administering any dog roundworm worming product, please ensure you always read the pack information and any additional leaflet provided. If in doubt, consult a veterinary professional before using the product.

See our full range of wormers for dogs »

Download a Life Cycle of Roundworm in Dogs PDF factsheet »

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