Roundworms in dogs and cats
Toxocara canis & T. felis
Intestinal roundworms of dogs and cats are ubiquitous and require regular treatment using drugs to control infection.
Unlike the tapeworm Dipylidium caninum, which can infect both cats and dogs, particular species of roundworm, Toxocara canis and T. felis, are exclusive to the dog and the cat respectively. This association is referred to as 'host specificity'.
Signs of infection may include:
- bloated belly
- blood or mucus in the stool
- loss of appetite
Severe infection in dogs can create an intestinal obstruction and cause death in puppies.
Adult dogs do show some level of immunity. This immunity is suppressed in bitches when they are whelping and infection can then recur. As a result, the litter of puppies may become infected at a very young age.
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