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What to do if your dog has worms?

Updated on July 2, 2009

Worms are common in dogs, especially in puppies. Fortunately, worm infestation is simple to eliminate. Parasites, both internal and external are the dreaded concerns of dog owners. Dogs are well cared for pets but parasite infestation can not be totally avoided because of the dog’s natural behaviors. Dogs are scavengers. These animals, even the well fed ones have an unaccountable desire to raid trash cans to eat spoiled food. Dogs eat non-edible things as well. We know that worms can be transmitted through the feces. This means that when your dog has taken a bite of another dog’s poop, it is highly probable that it will gain free loaders in its stomach.

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The internal parasites

Hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, whipworm and heartworm are the internal parasites that can endanger the health of the pet. As the name suggests, heartworm infests the heart. Left untreated this type of worm will destroy the tissues of the heart causing the death of the dog. Heartworm infestation is fatal given that the signs can only be seen when the dog is already severely infected. The other four types of worms infest the intestines of the dog. The infestation causes the dog to have a pot bellied appearance. The worms would suck blood from the intestinal walls causing internal bleeding and anemia. Hookworms and roundworms are zoonotic, meaning they can be transferred to humans.

Symptoms of worm infestation

Some worms can be seen by the naked eye, some can not. When you see your dog passing stool “decorated” with worms or with white grain-like “somethings” it is for certain, your dog has internal parasites. As mentioned, some types of worms can not be seen by the naked eye. To be on the safe side it would be best to submit the dog for some blood test and for fecal examination. A dog that is infested with worm would have a scruffy and a pot bellied appearance. But the most noticeable signs would be vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss due to poor appetite and low energy.

Treating the dog’s worm infestation

Once the infestation is detected, it would be best to take the dog to a veterinary facility at once. Of course you can purchase over the counter wormers but incorrect dosage can have dangerous effects on the pet instead of eradicating the parasite. Take note that the dosage would depend on the body weight of the dog as well as on the severity of infestation. The vet would give the appropriate wormer for the type of parasite that infests the pet. In severe cases the dog may need IV fluids and blood transfusions.

Checking for Worms & Deworming Your Dog

Identifying Dog Worms

What happens if your dog has worms


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      Brie 4 years ago

      So what should you do if one out of the two dogs have worms and the vet cant getta them in until next week. Is it ok to let them continue to run the house?

    • jackinabox profile image

      jackinabox 7 years ago

      Worms can be transferred to other household pets if they come in contact with the fecal material from an infested dog. Because of this it is a good idea to treat other other dogs and cats in the same household.

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      Maria 7 years ago

      Do u have to treat other dogs in same house?