Whipworm eggs pass into the environment through feces of infected hosts. Once deposited in the soil, they are highly resistant to destruction by environmental factors, such as temperature extremes and sunlight.
Infection occurs when a dog ingests the infective eggs. The larvae generally hatch in the small intestine and penetrate the mucous layer, where they develop for another 2 to 10 days before moving to the large intestine. Larvae mature into adult worms in the large intestine. Signs of infection can begin appearing between 74 and 90 days from the time of infection.
Whipworm is one of the four most common intestinal parasites of dog. Whipworms reside in the cecum, which is inside your dog’s body where the small intestine and large intestine meet.
Dogs that are infected with a few whipworms may not show any signs of infection. More severe infections can cause bloody diarrhea. If an infected dog is not treated, then severe whipworm infection can cause serious disease and even death.
Whipworm infection can be prevented by keeping your pet’s living area and the environment clean. Remove feces on a regular basis. Many heartworm preventives also control roundworm and is why we recommend giving on a year round basis. Because whipworms are sometimes more difficult to diagnose than other intestinal parasites a yearly stool sample should be ran, this will check for any worms or eggs that may be shedding so as not to infect the environment.