Updated on April 11, 2023
"Oh, the horror! Worms in my dog's poop? What the woof!" But don't freak out, my friend. Worm infections are a more common occurrence than you might think. From tapeworms to hookworms and everything in between, your pup's digestive tract can be a bit of a party for these little critters.
Luckily, with the right treatment, you can kick those pesky parasites to the curb and get your furry friend feeling like their tail-wagging self again. So, let's get to the bottom of this (pun intended) and learn all about how to handle worms in dogs.
Worms In Dogs, Everything You Need To Know 🪱
We know: just thinking about worms creates discomfort and a bit of disgust. Especially if you think that these parasites have infected your puppy's organs. But it is important that you familiarize yourself with it so that you recognize the symptoms and know how to act.
Unfortunately, the presence of worms in dogs can lead to serious health problems if the infection is not treated in time.
When talking about this issue, you have to bear in mind that there are different types of worms:
11 Top Symptoms Of A Dog With Worms
As you can imagine, each kind of worm will affect your furry friend in a slightly different way. However, it is possible to point out symptoms common to all kinds of worms. Among the main symptoms pointed out by the famous dog trainer Cesar Millan are:
- Diarrhea and abdominal pain.
- The presence of vomiting.
- A remarkable weight loss.
- Poor coat and a pot-bellied appearance.
- Symptoms related to anemia and even dietary deficiencies.
- Presence of blood in the poop.
- Intestinal blocks.
- Low energy.
- Cough, weak pulse, and bloating in heartworms.
1. My Dog Has Tapeworms In His Poop
Tapeworms are intestinal parasites that are generally acquired by eating fleas or infected animals.
It may happen that your dog consumes an infected flea while grooming himself. In those cases, the tapeworm egg or larva attaches to your dog's gut and starts to feed and grow.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Tapeworms?
- Segments of tapeworms in your dog's poop, these look like little pieces of rice.
- Infected dogs often sting, so scoot their bottoms along the ground to ease the discomfort.
- Presence of yellow specks stuck to the nearby fur of your dog's bottom.
How To Cure Tapeworms?
If the vet is able to corroborate the diagnosis, he will administer a medication to your furry friend by injection or orally.
Likewise, it is very important to remove fleas, so your dog should receive treatment in this regard, and you should spotless and disinfect your entire home.
Can Tapeworms Kill A Dog?
The specialized website PetMD maintains that "they normally don't cause serious problems and are easily treated".
2. Hookworms In Dogs
Hookworms are also intestinal parasites. Unlike the previous ones, they are more serious because they cause anemia and can be fatal if not treated properly in time. Of course, there are different types of hookworms.
The contagion usually occurs when a dog ingests hookworm larvae, for example through poop-eating or if the dog walks on infected soil and then licks his paws. It is also possible for a nursing mother to pass the worms to her puppies through milk.
You may be interested: My Dog Ate Another Dog's Poop
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Hookworms?
Hookworms are so small that despite being present in your dog's poop, the human eye will not be able to detect them. The specialized website PetMD points out that you can be aware of the presence of these worms if you notice that your dog:
- Is not eating, as usual.
- Is weak.
- Has lost weight.
- Presents blood in his poop.
How To Cure Hookworms?
The vet will examine a stool sample under the microscope and, upon checking for the presence of hookworms, will administer deworming medications to your dog.
Can Hookworms Kill A Dog?
Its main risks include anemia, but also the migration of larvae to the lungs. This situation could complicate the situation by generating respiratory diseases. For this reason, medical treatment is essential.
3. Roundworms, The Most Common Worms In Dogs
These intestinal worms are so common that some puppies are born with roundworms as they get them through the placenta. Also, puppies can be infected by suckling.
On the other hand, it is also possible that dogs consume them by eating eggs of this parasite or animals contaminated with this worm. Once inside the body, these worms grow in the intestine.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Roundworms?The main symptoms are:
- Little worms from white to brown in color in your dog's poop or vomit.
- Growth problems.
- Distended stomach.
- Diarrhea with mucus.
- Dull hair coat.
How To Cure Roundworms?
If the vet finds these parasites in your dog's poop by looking at it under a microscope, he will give your dog a series of drugs to deworm him.
Likewise, it is important that he avoids poop-eating and all contact of your dog with feces, both his and other animals.
Can Roundworms Kill A Dog?
PetMD explains that "they can significantly impact a puppy’s health, and in rare cases, they can be fatal." If you suspect the presence of these parasites, go to the vet.
4. My Dog Has Whipworms: What Can I Do?
These intestinal worms are spread through the ingestion of contaminated elements, be it water, food, animals, or even poop. These parasites can live on surfaces, such as floors, for several days; that is why it is vital to disinfect the home properly.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Whipworms?
In many cases, the infection is mild, and therefore the symptoms are unnoticeable. Now, in cases of strong infection, you may notice diarrhea and weight loss, as well as anemia.
How To Cure Whipworms?
Your vet will determine the best treatment for your dog based on his particular conditions. In many cases, there may be reinfections, as the eggs are difficult to locate. Treatments can last a few months.
5. Heartworms, The Most Dangerous Dog Worms
These worms can put your best friend's life at risk.
The transmitter of this parasite is the mosquito and how to avoid being in contact with mosquitoes is practically impossible, the ideal is to pay special attention to prevention.
Contamination with heartworms can be fatal, generating severe lung disease, heart failure, and other organ damage. However, the severity will depend on the number of worms present in the heart.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Heartworms?
- Exercise intolerance.
- Poor physical condition.
How To Cure Heartworms?
In general, veterinarians perform a thorough blood test to diagnose the presence of heartworms.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the veterinarian will determine the severity of the infection and the treatment to follow, which usually includes anti-inflammatory medications and hospitalization with oxygen therapy. In some situations, surgery may be necessary to remove the worms from the heart.
Can Heartworms Kill A Dog?
Unfortunately, severe cases can lead to death.
Therefore, prevention is the best option. To do this, ask your trusted vet for a preventive medicine against heartworm that you can give your friend once a month.
Note: you can get some kind of worms too. Remember to wash your hands well with soap and water after playing with your dog!
Bye Bye Worms!
Dealing with worms in dogs can be a real headache, but fear not. If you've noticed worms in your dog's poop, it's important to take action to prevent any potential health issues.
From tapeworms to hookworms and more, these pesky parasites can cause discomfort and even serious illness if left unchecked. However, with the right treatment and prevention measures, you can help keep your furry friend's tummy free of unwanted guests.
Don't let worms in dogs get you down - stay informed, consult with your vet, and keep your pup's health a top priority.
What Does Worms Look Like In Dogs?
Picture this: long, slimy, and wriggly. Yup, that's right, worms in dogs are basically the stuff of nightmares. They can vary in size and shape depending on the type of worm, but generally speaking, they're not something you want to be cuddling up with.
Some common types of worms that dogs can get include roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Roundworms are usually white or light brown and can look a bit like spaghetti, while tapeworms are flat and can break off into small segments that resemble grains of rice. Hookworms are tiny and can be difficult to spot with the naked eye, and whipworms have a thin, whip-like shape (hence the name).
Can Humans Catch Worms From Dogs?
Not all worms can be transmitted from dogs to humans. Tapeworms are not typically contagious from dog to human, unless a person accidentally ingests a flea that's carrying tapeworm larvae. On the other hand, roundworms and hookworms can be transmitted through contact with infected dog feces, soil, or contaminated surfaces.
That being said, the risk of humans catching worms from dogs can be minimized by practicing good hygiene and taking proper precautions. For example, washing your hands thoroughly after handling your dog or picking up their feces can help reduce the risk of transmission. It's also a good idea to keep your dog on a regular deworming schedule and to avoid letting them come into contact with other animals' feces.
What Happens If Worms Go Untreated In Dogs?
Worms in dogs can cause a wide range of health problems if left untreated. These parasites can live in your dog's intestines and absorb nutrients meant for your furry friend, leading to malnutrition, weight loss, and weakness. Additionally, worms can damage your dog's intestinal lining, which can lead to chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and bloody stools.
Some types of worms can even migrate to other parts of your dog's body, such as the lungs, liver, or heart, causing more severe health issues. Heartworm, for example, is a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause coughing, fatigue, and heart failure.
Can Dogs Spread Worms By Licking?
Indeed, some parasites like hookworm, roundworm, and giardia can be passed from dogs to humans through licking. These parasites can be present in your dog's saliva and can potentially be transferred to you through contact with your skin or mucous membranes, such as the mouth, nose, or eyes.
Hookworm and roundworm can cause symptoms in humans such as skin irritation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fever. Giardia can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, bloating, and stomach cramps.
However, it's important to note that the risk of transmission through licking is still considered to be relatively low. The vast majority of dogs do not carry these parasites, and even if they do, transmission is not guaranteed.