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Parasites and Walking Dandruff

 by Deborah Sullivan, Babydoll Pomeranians

Round worm which infects most often pregnant nursing bitches and young puppies. Adult worms are passed by puppies with or without accompanying feces. Often several worms are passed at one time coiled up like a spring or in a loose heap.

Life cycle: the release of hormones during pregnancy activates roundworm larvae which may be lying dormant in the tissues of the bitch. Some will migrate to the uterus, mammary glands and into the developing puppies while other larvae continue their life cycle in the intestine of the bitch. Larvae already within the puppy at birth develop into adult worms by the time the puppy is two weeks old.. The puppy will also receive more larvae via the bitch's milk from being licked by the bitch and from her coat where traces of feces may remain. Additionally, the bitch will take into her body eggs, larvae and adult worms when she cleans up the feces of her puppies. Within the puppy ingested roundworm eggs hatch into larvae which burrow through the gut wall and migrate via the liver to the lungs, where they undergo further development. Other maturing larvae are coughed up, swallowed and pass down into the digestive system where they mature into adult worms, which lay thousands of eggs within the intestine. 


Signs: It may be taken that all young puppies and nursing bitches have a roundworm burden, whether you see any live adult worms or not. A very heavy worm burden in puppies will cause breathing problems, coughing and possibly pneumonia while the larvae are migrating through the lungs. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, retarded growth, a potbellied, poor appearance and harsh coat will be seen when the stomach and intestines are full of round worm. Badly affected puppies whine and adopt a characteristic straddle legged position. 


Treatment: Worming should be given at two and a half to three weeks of age and then at two week intervals until three months of age and then again at 6 months old. Some very safe worming meds are: strongid, panacur, vermifuge pyrapam....(these were supplied by my vet)

Hookworms are also commonly encountered in puppies but dogs of any age can be seriously infested. This worm too may be passed to the puppies before birth or at an early age. A heavy infestation can cause death. these worms are tiny, white, hair-like parasites which have hook like mouth parts for chewing and attaching themselves to the intestinal lining. A heavily infested dog may be weak and anemic from loss of blood. He may have thin, mucoid bowel movements that are always diarrhea like and often contain blood. Mild infestations may produce loss of weight,poor coat, chronic diarrhea and just plain listlessness. 


Treatment: Worm 3 times with 10 days between each worming

Whipworms are more commonly seen in the older dog and usually very difficult to remove because they inhabit the colon and cecum, a blind out-pouching of the intestinal tract that may be by passed by the worm medicine. Whipworms are small, round sharply tapered white worms. Symptoms may be vague and include intermittent diarrhea, generally poor condition and a dry harsh coat. 


Treatment: is often effective with medicine given by mouth, but usually some medicine must be deposited right in the blind pouch which is introduced through the rectum.

Tapeworms: There are two more or less common tapeworms which claim the dog for their host for part of their life cycles. They are: Dipylidium, which spends part of its cycle in the flea in which case ingestion of an infected flea is necessary before the dog can become infected and Taenia which spends part of its cycle in the rabbit, so that intestine of rabbit viscera is necessary before the dog can become infected.  The head end, or scolex of these worms attaches to the intestinal linings and the rest of the parasite streams out into the lumen of the intestine like a rope floating in a river. As the parasite is flat and segmented, and the segments are all produced at the scolex or the head end, the whole worm becomes longer and longer. Eventually some of the segments break off and appear in the stool. Unless the head is removed the parasite will soon grow again and again. Often the segments from the stool will become attached to the hair around the anus of the dog. These segments may dry and fall of. they are commonly found in the dogs bed and look like pieces of dried rice. Finding these dried up segments or seeing the fresh segments in the stool, plus voracious appetites, loss of weight and generally poor condition of coat are usually indicative of tapeworm infestation. 


Treatment: Special tapeworm remedies given orally from the vet will accomplish getting rid of them the right way which include getting rid of the heads....

Walking Dandruff: this is a small mite that appears to look like dandruff on first examination of skin and coat. In fact if you take the dandruff off of the coat by shaking the hair or combing and put it on a dark surface you will see the dandruff "move".....


Treatment: Bathe dog in flea shampoo once a week for three weeks. Spray bedding area with a good mite spray or flea and tick spray. Once your baby has this, all in the kennel are infected so all dogs should be on this regime of bathing for the next three weeks.

~Submitted by'

Deborah Sullivan
Babydoll Pomeranians

Here's a link on this topic that readers may find useful:

According to this article, there are three types of "walking dandruff".


Here's another link:


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