What are Flatworms?
Flatworms are worms that attach themselves to the liver, lungs or small intestines of your dog. They vary in size and create a strong attachment to the inners of your dog using small hooks and suckers. Thankfully, these little pesky buggers can be treated easily and are relatively harmless as long as they are taken care of quickly. How do dogs come in contact with flatworms? If you’re like me, the minute your dog starts sniffing feces (so kindly left lying on the sidewalk by their owners), you tug the leash and say something like, “No, that’s gross, don’t do that!” Although the behavior is part of their genes, sniffing other dogs’ feces – besides totally grossing out us human dog owners – can actually be dangerous to your dog’s health. Flatworms can be contracted through contact with feces by smelling, touching, eating, licking…well, no need to get into the unappetizing details – you get the idea. Dogs that enjoy playing in and around ponds or lakes are also susceptible to flatworms. T
Flatworms, members of phylum Platyhelminthes, meaning “flat worm” in Greek, are relatively simple animals without a true coelom, or body cavity. Unlike cnidarians such as jellyfish, which possess only two germ layers and whose ancestors never had a coelom, flatworms are triploblastic (possess three germ layers) and evolved from more complex animals with coeloms. Initially, it was thought that flatworms were basal among protosomes (a large category of animals), but this been found to only be true of the groups Acoela and Nemertodermatida. These animals were then given their own phylum, Acoelomorpha. Flatworms are primarily aquatic, being found in both marine and freshwater environments, as well as some moist land environments. In Ireland and Scotland, one flatworm, Arthurdendyus triangulatus, has been so successful that since its accidental introduction in the 1960s, it has largely replaced the indigenous earthworms. This is an interesting example of an acoelomate species outcompeting a
Small reddish-rust colored creatures that may already be in your tank. Can can alsome come in as hitchhikers when you buy a new coral or fish. They can be seen on the glass or acrylic, on the substrate, or on live rock. They have extremely thin bodies, thus the name flatworm. They appear almost two-dimensional, barely a flap of skin. They can move through the tank, elongating the front part of their body like a sail filling with wind, latch on to the nearby surface and pull the rest of it’s body forward. They feed on small foods like rotifers, phytoplankton and such, and will grow out of control unchecked. Creating a mat with their bodies, they can smother corals or parts of the substrate. If they get to the point of overpopulating the tank, there is the possibility that they may die suddenly all at once, and the toxin they release at death can cause further deaths and even wipe out a tank entirely. Some predators exist, but results vary. Six Line Wrasses, Leopard Wrasses, Target Manda