Dr. Cailin Heinze, MS, VMD, DACVN, assistant professor of nutrition at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, says that weight loss due to parasitism is less common than it used to be, because many pets receive monthly protection against heartworm and intestinal parasites.
However, not all products are equally effective against all worms.
“Whipworms, in particular, aren’t killed by a lot of products,” says Dr. Heinze. Pets contract these by ingesting the eggs directly from the environment, from contaminated soil or water.
Symptoms of intestinal parasite infection in dogs can include:
Intestinal parasites are typically diagnosed through a fecal exam to identify the eggs or other parasite life stages (depending on the type of parasite present).
Treatment of intestinal parasites involves the use of a broad-spectrum dewormer, Dr. Heinze says, followed by a monthly preventative medication to prevent reinfection.