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Whip Worms

Jessica J. Wilcock, DVM,
Talent Dobermans, USA

1. What is the life cycle of Whipworms?

The dog ingests soil that has whipworm eggs in it (i.e.. where a previous dog has pooped that has whipworms), the larvae hatch and establish themselves in the cecum, a part of the intestine after the small intestine and before the large intestine/colon. There is no intermediate host.

2. What do they do?

Cause inflammation at the area where they attach, frequently causing bloody, mucousy diarrhea.

3. What is the cheapest treatment (if you do multiple dogs)?

4. Does it take Multiple wormings?
More than likely. The eggs can survive for 4-5 years in the soil.

5. Can pregnant bitches be wormed?
I don’t usually recommend worming pregnant bitches. However, pregnant bitches can be given Interceptor.
6. Do pups subjected to an ‘area’ where a dog has been diagnosed with it get wormed? Is puppy worming ok?
I would check a fecal sample first, but puppies can be wormed with Panacur. I can’t remember how old they have to be before they can get Interceptor. I think it’s eight weeks.

7. Is there any way to rid soil of eggs/worm reinfestation?
Other than moving or scorching the place- it’s *very* difficult. Interceptor works well though!

8. Now seriously, if a pregnant bitch has whips, will the worms cross placenta into pups?
I’m honestly not sure on this one – I would guess not, but if she has them, it’s likely that the pups will pick them up too.

9. If pups get whips from the soil and are treated, how do you prevent reinfestation ,if you are unable to move then to “perceived” clear soil?
Keep them on Interceptor.

10. When wormed do you see Whip worms expelled in feces? If not, Why do we see some worm types expelled that way, and not others?
I doubt it- whip worms are very small, fine thread-like worms. Round worms and tape worms are the most frequently seen passed in the stool due to their size (large).

Note: There are apparently really only three ways to eliminate whip worms…
1. Give your dogs a preventative such as Interceptor and let nature take its course – i.e. in one end and out the other
2. dig up 8 inches of your top soil and replace it or
3. use copper sulphate and kill everything in your yard