Monday, October 4, 2010

A Dog, A Bunny or Two and Some Tapeworms.

Lucy the bunny muncher
(She has the good grace to look ashamed.)
 Do you know the children's nursery song Little Bunny Foo Foo?  Here's the For Love of a Dog version:

Little bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice & bopping 'em on the head.

Down came Lucy and she said:  Little Bunny Foo Foo
I don't want to see you scooping up the field mice & having all the fun.

So, Lucy grabbed the bunny, snapped his neck and did some recreational munching.  A time or two, or three.  Most of the time she brought her prize to the door to share with all of us.  Afterall, she's a retriever.

Well, this morning she got the bad news that she has worms.  Tapeworms to be precise.  I guess we've been lucky because this is our first experience with tapeworms and it is an education.

According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, there are several different kinds of tapeworms that can infect dogs.  Each kind has an in-between host.  In Lucy's case, we're talking about the Echinococcus species that uses small rodents, rabbits or even deer as their intermediate hosts.

Tapeworms are long, flat worms that attach themselves to your dog’s (or cat's) intestines. A tapeworm body consists of multiple parts, or segments, each with its own reproductive organs. Tapeworm infections are usually diagnosed by finding segments—which appear as small white worms that may look like grains of rice or seeds—on the rear end of your dog, in your dog’s feces, or where your dog lives and sleeps.

Dogs with tapeworm infections usually are not sick and do not lose weight from the worms. Contrary to popular belief, dogs that “scoot” on their rear ends are generally doing it for reasons other than having tapeworms. 

If you suspect your dog might have tapeworms, call your vet and get an appointment.  In our case we collected a stool sample, took it in for lab work along with Lucy and in no time at all had medication adminstered.  According to our vet, the medication will kill and dissolve the tapeworms and she'll be right as rain in no time at all.  The other good news is that Tucker and Jeffie are not affected.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Go ahead... bark at us!