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Both dogs and cats suffer from the whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) parasite. It is generally transmitted by ingesting infested matter, although whipworms can be contracted from other infected animals. Whipworm eggs can live in an environment anywhere from a few months to years, and can be present in soil, food, or water, as well as in feces or animal flesh. Additionally, whipworms infect dogs of any age.
If you would like to learn how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the petMD health library.
Symptoms and Types
A whipworm infection may present itself as a large bowel inflammation or bloody diarrhea, or it may be asymptomatic. Other symptoms commonly associated with a whipworm infection include dehydration, anemia, and weight loss. It is worth noting that symptoms may begin prior to any visual evidence of whipworm eggs.
Dogs contract whipworms by ingesting infested or contaminated matter (e.g., food, water, flesh).
The veterinarian will confirm the diagnosis by conducting the fecal flotation procedure on a stool sample. If parasitic eggs or whipworms are present, they will float to the surface of the glass slide.