How to tell if your puppy has worms
Some signs possibly suggesting your pup has parasites
Having worked at an animal hospital I have seen my fair share of puppies. These cuddly balls of fur often carried a baggage of pesky parasites along. Because most puppies have parasites (they inherit them from their mother's milk or while in the uterus) we always recommended all new puppy owners to bring along a stools sample for their puppy's first vaccination appointment.
A fresh stool sample must not be older than 24 hours old. A teaspoon amount is sufficient . Results come in fairly quickly, however, many vets give deworming medicine in any case during the pup's first vet exam.
While often there are no signs of worms in puppies, those heavily infestated may exhibit some particular symptoms that can be easily recognized:
A potbellied appearance
Rice like parasites on rectum
Rice like parasites found near sleeping areas
Blood in stool
Spaghetti like parasites in the stool
Spaghetti like parasites in the vomit
Roundworms are usually the most common parasites found in puppies. They resemble spaghetti and can be found in a dog's stool or vomit. They often cause a pot bellied appearance, dull coat and puppies may have gastro-intestinal issues. In severe cases, the puppy may become anemic and exhibit pale gums and even an intestinal obstruction. A cough may appear if the roundworms migrate to the lungs.
Tapeworms produce segments that resemble rice grains and occur when puppies ingest an infected flea that acts as a vector. These sort of rice grains can be found found near the rectum or near areas where the puppy sleeps. The tapeworm segments may cause rectal itching and scooting.
Hookworms often may cause blood in a dog's stool and even anemia, since they thrive on the dog's blood. Because they are dangerous to puppies, a fecal test should be always be performed on puppies.
Whipworms as well cause bloody stools, anemia and gastro-intestinal issues. Heartworms instead invade the heart and are present when affected mosquitoes bite you dog. They cause coughing spells and lethargy and treatment is difficult.
Protozoans such as giardia and coccidia are also possibilities.
As seen, puppies may carry a vast array of parasites with them. Because some of these parasites are not species specific, meaning they can transmitted to humans, fecal tests and deworming medications are of utmost importance to safeguard your pup's health and the health of your family.