The whipworm (Trichuris) is a small, thin worm that lives in the large intestine and cecum. The cecum is a blind pouch located between the small and large intestine; it resembles the human appendix.
The whipworm gets its name from its body shape. Its body is very delicate and its tail tapers into a narrow “whip like” structure. It is difficult to see in the stool because of its size.
Whipworms can cause diarrhea, bloody feces and poor general health. Massive rectal bleeding occasionally occurs. Diagnosis is by microscopic examination of the feces. Sometimes several samples must be examined before the worm eggs are found. It takes about 3-4 months after infection until eggs are passed in an infected pet’s stool.
How Common Are They?
- Whipworms in Cats
- 1 in 1482 cats tested positive for whipworms
- 16.66% of all positive cases of whipworms in Ohio were in Cuyahoga County.
- Whipworms in Dogs
- 1 in 85 dogs tested positive for whipworms
- 18.28% of all positive cases of whipworms in Ohio were in Cuyahoga County.
Important Points in Treatment
Effective medication can cure your pet of whipworms. However, good hygiene is required to prevent reinfection.
Whipworm eggs, unlike other parasites, CAN survive a heavy frost and can remain alive in your yard for 5 years or more. So it’s important to prevent them getting into your yard by picking up your dog’s stool AS SOON as he/she goes. This means your dog should not be in your yard unattended, or you could not know where or when he/she went.
Please recheck stool in one week after the second dose.