Tuesday , 12 December 2017

Dr. Amanda Glew: Whipworms on the Rise

Whips on the rise 

By:  Dr. Amanda Glew 

Most of us get cute pictures on the internet. I don’t. The other day, my husband was going through my emails (he helps me, since I get so many), and exclaimed “What the %^&&*!!!” I came running to look at the photo shown here – someone had sent me a picture of

Someone had sent me a picture of their dogs doo doo!

 their dog’s doo doo.  I dismissed my husband with a wave of my hand, saying “Wow, so Angus had whips!” I was relieved. We had finally solved the quandary.

Angus presented to us at the Timberlea Veterinary Clinic for vomiting, followed by diarrhea. A simple gastro-enteritis, I thought. So we ruled out a foreign body with an xray, blood tests were normal, and we decided on a conservative approach – fasting, probiotics, easily digestible diet and one injection. The vomiting resolved, yet the diarrhea continued. By this time, it was beginning to get bloody. After a 2nd exam, I asked the owner to bring in a stool. But bloody diarrhea is hard to sample. Still thinking a simple gastro, either from virus, bacteria or inappropriate food, I suggested a deworming to be thorough. The next day, there was the owner outside with her i-phone taking pictures of these thread-like worms in her dogs excrement. I can only imagine what her neighbors thought she was doing!

The good thing is, we treated and have resolved the problem. The bad thing is, whip worms are extremely difficult to get rid of, have a direct dog to dog transmission (unlike tapes), and the eggs live in the environment for years. So although we can get rid of worms from the dog today, if the poop lay around for any length of time, the eggs are in the soil and will be there until they are ingested by an appropriate host.

Which brings me to two points: 1. Poop and scoop people, and prevent contamination of dog runs and outdoor areas (land fill areas much be rich!!) and 2. Deworm your animals. Remember, when you give heartworm prevention, you are deworming your dog, which is one of the reasons I like to do it. But don’t forget your cats either.

Then maybe I wont get pictures of feces on my email!!!

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