Ginger Taffy - Rottweiler Kennel
Ginger Taffy
Rottweiler Kennel

Fédération Cynologique Internationale

Rottweiler klub České republiky

IFR rottweilers

Český kynologický svaz

Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub e.V.

ČeskoMoravská Kynologická Unie

1. Parasites

Dog Roundworm

Dog roundworm (Toxocara canis) is a worldwide distributed worm of Nematoda phylum, a parasite of dogs and other canid carnivores. Adult worms are gonochorists, yellow-white in colour, measuring from 9 to18 cm, and occur in the intestine of the definite host. Roundworms cause intestinal inflammation; migrating larvae cause inflammation in other organs. While in adult dogs they are usually asymptomatic, roundworms in puppies may cause a serious disease which may be fatal. As paratenic hosts, number of vertebrates may be infected, including man, and also some invertebrates. In humans, roundworm larvae may cause a serious disease called toxocariasis.

Toxocara canis is one of the most common dog parasites, and owing to possible transmission of the infection from bitches to puppies, preventive anthelmintic treatment is recommended in both bitch and new born puppies from 2nd to 3rd week after the birth. In new born puppies, the recommended anthelmintic treatment phases are: 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th week after the birth, then every two months until they reach 6 months of age. Repeated anthelmintic treatment in two-week intervals is important because the anthelmintic drugs are effective in the body only for the period of 24 hours, and only against adult worms in the host's intestine. Larvae migrating through the tissue at the time of drug administration are thus not affected. In large dog breeding kennels it is essential to observe the hygiene standards (kennel cleaning etc.) and prevent dogs from feeding on small rodents. Regular anthelmintic treatment of both puppies and adult dogs also eliminates the contamination of their environment by eggs. Several anthelmintic drugs of different strength are effective in dog anthelmintic treatment mostly in the form of tablets, paste, spot-on or injected form. Effective anthelmintic drugs (dewormers) used in dog treatment include for example preparations based on pyrantel, fenbendazole or mebendazole.

Dog Roundworm

Cucumber Tapeworm

Cucumber tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum) is a largely distributed cestode parasite, localised in intestines of dogs, cats and other canids and felids, and exceptionally in man. The life cycle of a tapeworm includes a flea as an intermediate host. The tapeworm may be 20 to 50 cm long, 4 mm wide and it feeds on intestinal contents. The infection is usually asymptomatic in dogs and cats although massive invasions may cause diarrhea. Anthelmintics effective against tapeworm in dogs include praziquantel, nitroscanate and bunamidine. Regular anthelmintic treatment and preventive veterinary check-ups are again essential.

Cucumber Tapeworm

Giardia Lamblia

(Translated from:, MVDr. Michal Čáp, and own experience)
Giardia is an intestinal parasite colonising on the surface of the intestine, covering it as a carpet. It impairs the intestine’s ability of nutrient intake. While in animals until one year of age it can be treated with success, in older ones the treatment can be rather problematic. The occurrence of giardia is related to immunosuppression, i.e. the immune system activation disorder.

The symptoms include permanent watery stool or even diarrhea, the dog does not thrive and, despite sufficient food intake, is thin and even skinny. Naturally, such malnutrition has serious consequences in puppies: large breed puppies may suffer from a limb condition; they might develop limping due to insufficient nutrition etc. If your puppy has been properly vaccinated, gone through anthelmintic treatment and does not feed on pieces of wood, bark and other things outside, which may irritate intestines and cause diarrhea (puppy should not eat such things in the first place – better leave your dog in the muzzle if you are not able to keep an eye on it), and in spite of this all the puppy is still suffering from diarrhea, you should make an appointment at a specialist veterinary clinic, and have a stool analysis done for your dog with a suspicion of giardiasis.

Giardia infection is transmitted only orally. The dog is infected by the ingestion of infective cysts which is excreted from the body with stool. Giardia cysts might be anywhere: on the pavement, grass, sand, linoleum. Common anthelmintic treatment does not work or at least common anthelmintic treatment against roundworms and tapeworms. You will have to use special preparations. Even if the stool analysis is negative it does not have to necessarily mean that your dog is giardia-free. Samples must be taken repeatedly, ideally at 3 consecutive times during 10 days; some veterinarians recommend taking stool samples on 3 consecutive days (samples must be stored in a cold place, the collected amounts are then mixed to make a single sample which is tested – testing is done is a specialist laboratory, where veterinarians send their samples as not all veterinarians provide this kind of service).

Beginning diarrhea or watery stool does not have to necessarily indicate an infection, as giardiasis takes longer time to develop. However, if your puppy has been suffering from diarrhea for more than two days, you should immediately seek help at the veterinarian, especially if the puppy has other problems as well.

While there is a vaccine against giardiasis, it is only merchandised in large packs and most veterinarians are unable to use it up within the expiration time therefore they do not usually purchase it. Adult dogs may be treated with Baypamun (injection) to stimulate their immunity or with Yaccan, a prophylactic and therapeutic "antigiardia" natural product ( etc.).


Ticks (Ixodes ricinus) are parasitic mites that feed on the blood of their hosts - mammals, reptiles or birds – with a typical three-host cycle. Ticks are vectors of a number of infectious diseases. Most common diseases transmitted by ticks include Lyme disease and tick-born meningoencephalitis.

Ticks live in damp forests with plentiful plant and bush story (e.g. riparian forests), but also at the edge of woods and in damp meadows. They also occur in altitudes of over 750 meters above sea level. Hungry ticks will sit at the end of a branch or at another place that sticks out with its front legs extended sideways in the air. When a victim comes near, the tick falls upon it and anchors itself in its skin using a cogged hypostome. The blood-sucking process may take from one to two weeks. Ticks can live without food for over a year. Adult males no longer take food – they only search for a host animal to find a female for mating. The female then lays 1,000 – 3,000 eggs into the ground. Six-legged larvae immediately start looking for small animals (lizards, birds) and suck their blood for several days. Then they transform in eight-legged nymphs and find more victims to suck blood on. After the second cycle of feeding they grow up and become adult. Under favourable conditions, the tick life-cycle takes from one to two years. Ticks occurring in the Czech Republic must usually change three hosts before they transform into an adult. The length of the tick life-cycle depends on the specific conditions; it can range from one to four years. As ticks usually transform from one life stage to another in summer, we can mostly find them attached in spring and autumn.


Dog Flea

Flea (Siphonaptera, Aphaniptera) is the common name of order of wingless worldwide distributed ectoparasitic insects, adapted to parasitic way of life. The size of a flea ranges between one and eight millimetres. There are approximately 2,200 kinds of fleas; in the Czech Republic there are about 90 kinds. Their length of life ranges from several months up to three years.

The flea body is usually brown or yellow coloured; it is reinforced with overlapping plates and it is covered with short spines. Adult fleas have a wedge-shaped, laterally compressed body with a markedly big abdomen which passes to a small wingless thorax with atypical-shaped rings. It has three pairs of legs on the chest. The hind and middle pairs of legs are adapted for jumping with a well-developed hips and thighs. On the feet of all legs there are strong claws which are used to stay attached on the host. Fleas are very good jumpers thanks to an elastic pad located inside the joint membrane which is able to store a great amount of energy and release it when the flea jumps. Flea head is small and round with a single pair of small undeveloped eyes which usually respond only to the light intensity. The mouth is adapted for piercing and sucking blood and is comprised of three puncturing stylets which have transformed from the upper palate and a part of jaw. Flea mouth is located in the lengthwise line of the lower lip. Antennae are short, six-part, and are located at the sides of the head.

Fleas are holometabolous insects. After mating, the female must feed on blood to get enough protein to be able to produce eggs. Shortly after mating the flea lays white eggs of 0.6–0.7 mm. Eggs are laid in several consecutive batches as they must be put in a safe place. The total amount of eggs may reach up to five hundred. The eggs take between 5–16 days to hatch depending on the kind of the flea and the temperature. Flea larvae that emerge from the eggs are hairy, worm-like and legless, with a distinct head, short antennae and strong mandibles and mouth system. Larvae do not feed on blood, but rather on available organic material (e.g. dried blood, adult faeces). There are three larval stages that last from 6–12 days depending on the kind and temperature. In the last stage larvae weave a cocoon and pupate in it. Flea pupa does not bite and within a few days (usually10) a new adults emerges from the cocoon. The length of the cocoon stage depends only on the kind of the flea.

Fleas feed on the host's blood; most kinds can change the host type. Flea can survive up to one year without food intake. Fleas living outside a host do not distinguish those living at the same place. They have minimum requirements as to blood quality. Fleas usually do not leave a dead host until a new suitable host approaches, they do not mind staying on a dead host for a longer time; but they do not suck cold blood. Fleas do not leave ill hosts.

Fleas are not only an annoying parasite, they are also vectors of some serious diseases, such as pestilence, tularaemia etc. Fleas also represent an intermediate host of some tapeworms; therefore they can transmit those parasites as well. Dog and can will get infected with a tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum) by having ingested an infected flea.

Dog Flea

Dog Roundworm 
Dog Roundworm 

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