Whipworms in Dogs

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Questions and answers about whipworms in dogs

Whipworms are intestinal parasites often found in dogs, spreading when infected animals pass the eggs through their stool. And in addition to causing health issues in dogs, these parasites are quite common. They can be found throughout the United States, infecting dogs from coast to coast. Here’s what you need to know about whipworms — and how you can prevent them.

What Are Whipworms in Dogs?

Whipworms are intestinal parasites that live inside the large intestine and a part of the digestive system called the cecum. Once inside your dog, whipworms hatch, mature and complete their lifecycle in your dog’s intestinal tract, using your pet as their food source.

What Do Whipworms Look Like?

Whipworms are small, thin and threadlike. They can appear almost translucent, with one end slightly larger than the other, giving them a whip-like shape. Their microscopic eggs are not always shed consistently and cannot be seen by the naked eye.

Close up of a whipworm under a microscope.

How Do Dogs Get Whipworms?

Dogs may ingest whipworm eggs by directly eating dirt or pet stools, or spending time in a contaminated environment, such as a dog park or even your own backyard.

What Are the Symptoms of Whipworms in Dogs?

Not all pets show symptoms of whipworms. In fact, some dogs can be infected and appear perfectly normal. For those that do show signs, you may notice:

  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stools
  • Weight loss
  • Recurring weakness

What Whipworm Treatments Can Help Fight Infections?

The good news is that whipworm infections can be treated with a dewormer. But because whipworm eggs remain in contaminated areas for up to seven years, preventing reinfection requires vigilance.

You can help prevent whipworms by keeping pet areas clean and regularly removing pet waste from your yard. Find effective dewormers at pet specialty stores and veterinarian offices

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Interceptor® Plus (milbemycin oxime/praziquantel)  

Interceptor Plus prevents heartworm disease and treats and controls adult roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm infections in dogs and puppies 6 weeks or older and 2 pounds or greater. 

Important Safety Information: 
Treatment with fewer than 6 monthly doses after the last exposure to mosquitoes may not provide complete heartworm prevention. Prior to administration of Interceptor Plus, dogs should be tested for existing heartworm infections. The safety of Interceptor Plus has not been evaluated in dogs used for breeding or in lactating females. The following adverse reactions have been reported in dogs after administration of milbemycin oxime or praziquantel: vomiting, diarrhea, decreased activity, incoordination, weight loss, convulsions, weakness, and salivation. For complete safety information, please see Interceptor Plus product label or ask your veterinarian.

Trifexis® (spinosad + milbemycin oxime)

Trifexis prevents heartworm disease. Trifexis kills fleas and prevents flea infestations, and treats and controls adult hookworm, roundworm and whipworm infections in dogs and puppies 8 weeks and older and 5 pounds or more.

Important Safety Information:
The use of ivermectin at higher than FDA-approved doses at the same time as Trifexis can result in serious side effects. Treatment with fewer than three monthly doses after the last exposure to mosquitoes may not provide complete heartworm prevention. Prior to administration of Trifexis, dogs should be tested for existing heartworm infection. Use with caution in breeding females. The safe use of Trifexis in breeding males has not been evaluated. Use with caution in dogs with pre-existing epilepsy. The most common adverse reactions reported are vomiting, decreased activity, itching, decreased appetite, and diarrhea. To ensure heartworm prevention, observe your dog for one hour after administration. If vomiting occurs within an hour of administration, redose with another full dose. Puppies less than 14 weeks of age may experience a higher rate of vomiting. For complete safety information, please see Trifexis product label or ask your veterinarian.

Quad Dewormer (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel) Chewable Tablets for Dogs

Quad Dewormer (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel) Chewable Tablets for Dogs will remove common tapeworms (Diplydium caninum and Taenia pisiformis), remove common hookworms (Anclostoma caninum, Unicaria stenocephala), remove common roundworms (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine) and remove whipworms in dogs (Trichuris vulpis).

Important Safety Information:
Consult your veterinarian for assistance in the diagnosis, treatment and control of parasitism; consult your veterinarian before administering the tablets to weak or debilitated animals; do not deworm a dog or puppy that is sick; consult your veterinarian for diagnosis of the illness and appropriate care. Not for use in puppies that are younger than 3 weeks of age or dogs weighing less than 2 lbs. May be given directly in the mouth or offered in a small amount of food. WARNING: Keep out of reach of children.

For complete directions for use and safety information see product label.