just found a rice looking thing in her poop.it is longer than a grain of rice but there was only ONE. called vet and she said with worms there is usually more than just one. she did have a deworm treatment few wks ago but missed one of the 3 doses.any ideas.i dont get off work in time to take the poop to vet so i was just gonna see if anymore happen in the next few days and then obviously take her in if theres more
The only worm that you can ever see in a dog's stool with your naked eye (without a microscope, in other words) -- at least under normal circumstances -- is a tapeworm. A tapeworm segment does look like a long, thin, grain of rice. Sometimes, if you see it in the first few minutes after the dog had a bowel movement, the tapeworm might still be moving or wiggling. The vet is right, USUALLY you will see more than one of them, if the dog has tapeworms. But sometimes if it is a light infection, you will just see one at a time.
Tapeworms come from fleas. They spend part of their lifecycle inside a flea, and then when your dog eats a flea while grooming herself, that's how the tapeworm larvae get inside your dog's gut. So if your dog has not had any fleas lately, that makes it kind of unlikely that what you saw was a tapeworm. Different worming medication is used for tapeworms vs. other species of worms, so depending on what exact type of deworming treatment your dog had a few weeks ago, she might or might not have been wormed for tapeworms.
The best way to prevent tapeworms is to control fleas. The good news is that tapeworms rarely cause illness, unless your dog has a huge, huge, huge load of them. If the dog's gut is just filled up with tapeworms, the dog can get anemic from their bloodsucking. But then you would be seeing lots and lots of segments, both in the stool and also dried ones sticking to the dog's fur on the rear half of her body. Lots of otherwise healthy dogs have a light infestation of tapeworms.
If what you saw was in fact a tapeworm, you will probably see more of the segments in coming days. You have plenty of time to get back to the vet for treatment. A lot of vets will let you just pick up tapeworm medication at their front desk and won't make you bring the dog in for an office visit, if you are an established client and as long as you do bring your dog in for regular preventive care. You still have to pay for the medication, but the doctor may trust you to know what a tapeworm is and just dispense the medication to you without a stool test.
If what you saw was not a tapeworm, then I'm guessing it was probably just some little crumb of something indigestible that she snuffled up off the ground. I think you have the right idea to just continue to closely check her stool for a while and go from there. One tapeworm is not cause for panic, even if that's what it was. You seem like a very observant owner, and I'm sure if you follow your instincts you will do the right thing.
Yes it does sound like a tapeworm. Occasionally my dog gets them. She has no fleas, but always gets tapeworms if she catches and eats a wild mouse (which unfortunately, she does, sometimes.
I used an over-the-counter medication for de-worming her, but it made her vomit. So instead now, if needed, I get one from the vet (not as cheap, but effective usually after one dose, and safe, without any vomiting or bad effects.)
thanks guys! the only reason im obsevant with her poop is cuz she likes to eat it lol so i have to clean it up right after she goes(which she is taking some over the counter meds for and they are working). anyways i went ahead and got the deworm med from vet.all is well otherwise!
I think human tapeworm infestations can only occur if you somehow get tapeworm eggs or larvae into your mouth and swallow them. It can happen from poor sanitation in food handling, as when preparing an infested meat animal for cooking. Children playing in dirt that is infested with tapeworm eggs can also pick up an infection, I believe. I've never really heard of someone catching tapeworms from their dog.
As for how your dog can have tapeworms after you treated him for fleas, perhaps he had the tapeworms before you killed off the fleas. You also have to treat for tapeworms, once they are present. After you get rid of both the fleas and the tapeworms, the dog should be okay until he picks up more fleas.
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