PSA: Mild Winter Impacting Dog’s Health

So I got a fun surprise while cleaning up the yard the other night – TAPEWORMS in Comet and Liam’s poop.

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TAPEWORMS?!?!

 

Not exactly the surprise I was hoping for. I have an inkling that Liam came to me with them already – dogs can contract these by simply ingesting an infected flea. Once one dog in a household gets it, it easily spreads to the other dogs they share the yard with. This is commonly due to stepping in each other’s poop and then cleaning off their paws.

Another fun fact – these worms won’t always show in a fecal sample until they are in the adult stage which is how they have gone undetected in Liam until now. It also explains why I haven’t been able to get Liam to put on more than 3 pounds.

Liam was a stray over the winter but unfortunately for him, due to the mild winter we had in Illinois, fleas and ticks were not fully killed off which means these next couple of seasons are going to be particularly rough for dogs and owners and extra precautions will need to be taken. I am going to be switching all 3 of my dogs to a stronger flea preventive (they are currently using Frontline which isn’t cutting it, I am in the midst of doing research to decide what to switch to).

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In the meantime, I picked up dewormer at the vet’s office for all 3 dogs (even though Rusty wasn’t showing any signs of any tapeworms he also received treatment). Let me tell you, my night was a real joy as the dewormer upset Liam’s stomach so bad that he started throwing up the worms, Comet got diarrhea, and Rusty, completely unphased by any of this, killed a baby rabbit and presented it to me as a gift.

Not the best night.

Takeaway from this – be very diligent in checking your dogs for fleas and ticks and do your research on methods of preventing and removing these pests – we are in for a nasty summer.

 

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