Zoe with her first hairdo
Zoe with her Nemo balloon
Zoe shaking hands Health Care
Zoe getting a bath Grooming
Zoe with her food dish Feeding
Zoe jumping through a Hula-hoop
Zoe as a puppy Breeding
Roundworms with a ruler.


Internal Parasites

Roundworms (Toxocara) are very common. It has been speculated that 85% of puppies are infected with roundworms. Toxocara canis (TC) and Toxocara leonina (TL) are the two roundworms of the dog, with the former being far more prominent. Both worms are large, around 3 inches. Both are diagnosed by standard microscopic fecal exams. False negatives occur when no eggs have been shed into the sample presented. Infection occurs in both TC and TL by ingestion of eggs when contaminated feces are shed into the environment. However, the vast majority of TC infection occurs by transplacental migration from the bitch to the pup. Immature larvae from either method of transmission of TC undergo migration from the gut into various tissues. The majority of the larvae migrate through the liver, diaphragm, lungs and up the major airways. As they move up the trachea, occasionally several worms will be coughed up by the pup and discovered in the expectorant. Most of TC will continue their migration and be swallowed, moving down the esophagus, into the stomach and back into the small intestine where they reach adult status and begin shedding eggs. Some of the migrating larvae become encysted in tissues as migration occurs. Infection by TL does not produce this larval migration. Most dogs develop some immunity to reinfection of TC and TL. Adult infection is estimated to be around 10-15% in the US. Encysted larvae return to the intestine when severe stress occurs to the host. Signs of roundworms can be serious in puppies producing abdominal pain, bloating, dull coat , diarrhea and occasionally fatal small bowel obstruction. Migration can cause respiratory signs that mimic upper respiratory infections. Occasionally, serious pneumonia result.

Dipylidium caninum and Taenia pisiformis are the common tapeworms of dogs. They are passed to the dog by ingestion of the intermediate host of the tapeworm. The flea is the intermediate host of Dipylidium and rabbits and rodents are the intermediate host for Taenia. Dogs ingest the intermediate host and release the intermediate stage of the tapeworm into the GI of the final canine host where the parasite matures to an adult in the small bowel. Eggs are shed to the environment from the GI of the dog in small segments that look like small pieces of rice. These segments can often be seen in fresh feces or attached to the adjacent tissues of the dogšs anus. As the segments dessicate they release microscopic eggs into the environment for the cycle to begin again. Mature adult Dipylidium and Taenia reach 50cm. or more in length. Signs of Dipylidium and Taenia infestation are unapparent. These parasites seem to be innocuous in the dog. Their only threat is their repugnancy and the potential to further debilitate a compromised pet. Treatment for these two tapeworms is either oral or by injection under the skin. Several drugs are available. They include praziquantel, epsiprantel, fenbendazole and mebendazole. Prevention of Dipylidium consists of good flea control. Prevention of Taenia is difficult if your dog is a good rodent and rabbit hunter and may require prophylactic tape worming several times a year.


Source for this page

Preventive Measures

Internal Parasites

External Parasites

All text is taken from 'Shih Tzu' by Jaime J. Sucher unless noted elsewhere by a navigational link. All images of Zoe are the property of this website and are available to buy.