Does Your Dog Have Worms? Signs, Symptoms, And Treatment

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Worms in our dogs are never a pleasant thought and are a source of concern. Nobody wants to consider that their dog is infested with nasty worms.

But understanding the risks, symptoms, and readily available dog worm treatments is essential to responsible dog ownership.

Some worms not just make your dog sick, but they can also infect humans. To learn more about dog worms, keep reading:

Why Preventing Intestinal Worms in Dogs Matters

Nobody wants to endanger their dog’s health, yet unexpected problems develop in your pet that you might not even be aware of. Worms are one of those concerning problems. If you neglect your dog’s worming indicators, long-term health problems can frequently occur.

Dogs with intestinal worms can develop illnesses that range from minor to potentially lethal, especially in small, underweight puppies. You need to be aware that there are various types of parasites. Thankfully, dog worming remedies and preventative measures are generally straightforward.


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Comprehending How Dogs Get Worms

When dogs eat worm larvae that they find in dirt, waste products, or even fleas that they lick off their fur, they can get infected. You can successfully lower your dog’s risk of catching worm infections by regularly bathing them, especially using the best shampoo for poodles.

Your dog risks contracting worms if they hunt or eat dead animals. The transmission from mother to pup is another method a dog can contract worms. Some worm species are easy to identify. The most common warning signs of dog worm infestation are listed below.

Identifying Signs of Worms in Your Dog 


Dogs who vomit are likely to have worms. The worms in your dog’s vomit will usually be visible. But keep in mind that other medical conditions like indigestion might cause vomiting. Call a vet immediately if your dog begins to vomit frequently. If your dog has no worms, vomiting could indicate another health issue.


Worm infections can cause soft stools and severe diarrhea. Seeing a vet immediately is essential if your pet has constant diarrhea since it can cause dehydration. Dogs with hookworms may sometimes have blood in their stools in addition to diarrhea. Diarrhea increases the risk for dogs with heartworm disease. Call your vet immediately if you find blood in your dog’s feces.


One of the most common symptoms of dog worms is coughing. Though it can also indicate hookworms and roundworms, coughing frequently indicates heartworm disease.

In contrast to a typical cough, which is powerful and intermittent, dogs with heartworms will have a continuous dry cough. Your dog can cough after exercise if heartworms are still in the early stages.  Consult a vet immediately if your dog is coughing more often and weakly. Worm infections in dogs can often be fatal or highly harmful.


Dogs who appear less alert and inactive than usual may suffer from worms. Your dog suffers from a loss of energy due to the worms depriving it of blood and nutrition. If your dog appears inactive and more sluggish than usual, you need to get your dog to a vet ASAP.

Change in Feeding Habits

Your dog might have been exposed to roundworms if you detect a sudden change of appetite in him. Infected dogs frequently experience appetite loss or, in rare instances, a sharp rise in hunger.

Your dog might be more hungry than usual, but he still might be losing weight. You should take your dog to the clinic as soon as you notice changes in appetite, just like with the other signs of dog worm infestations.

Loss of Weight

If your dog loses weight quickly, he can have worms—this weight loss results from the parasites absorbing the nutrients in the dog’s body through its intestines. As already pointed out, weight loss can happen even if your dog has a normal or increased appetite. Weight loss can also be a sign of other illnesses. If your dog is rapidly losing weight, you must promptly see the vet.

Dull Coat

A dog with a healthy coat should be shiny and thick. Your dog can have worms if his coat gets dull or is dried out. Worms can also be indicated by hair loss or rashes. Your dog might experience considerable hair loss in addition to a dull coat. Consult a vet to identify the proper course of action because, in addition to worms, other parasites can also result in hair loss.

Skin Irritations

Dogs who have symptoms of skin irritation may have a severe worm infection. A rash is one common symptom of such skin irritations. Your dog may even start to scratch himself more often.


Dogs infested with worms will periodically rub their back ends on the floor to ease the itching brought on by worms in that region, even though anal gland issues can frequently cause scooting. Your dog can also lick or bite his bottom to stop the itching that the worms produce.


A bloated look is another typical sign of dog worm infection. The most typical worm to produce this symptom is a roundworm.

Puppies who have gotten worms from their mother typically have a bloated look. This worm transmission occurs before delivery through the placenta or when the mother is nursing after birth. Adult dogs can seem bloated as well. No matter how old your dog is, you should see a doctor immediately since roundworms can block your dog’s intestines.

Diagnosis and Testing of Worms in Dogs

If you think your dog could have worms, get him to the clinic immediately. Your veterinarian will need to make the decisions in most cases. Collecting a sample of your dog’s stool might be necessary to be checked under a microscope for worm activity. Blood tests are essential for detecting heartworms and their treatment.

The majority of intestinal worms are quickly cured with medicine. On the other hand, heartworm disease is far more challenging to treat and discomforting for your dog to cope with. Heartworms can be prevented with monthly preventive medication with the added benefit of preventing other worm diseases.

Dog Worm Treatment Options

Prolonged worm infestations can damage your dog’s internal organs, leave them unconscious, and possibly kill them. Take your dog to the closest vet clinic if you believe it could suffer from worms. Despite the widespread presence of worms in dogs, there are fortunately a few straightforward methods for removing harmful parasites from your dog’s body, including oral and injectable dewormers.

  • Oral Dewormers

A vet may prescribe oral drugs to treat tapeworms, whipworms, hookworms, and roundworms. Since larvae may have hatched after your dog’s initial treatment, it may occasionally need more than one dose to guarantee that all the worms are eliminated. Heartworm treatment is also available as a chewable pill that resembles a dog treat orally.

  • Injectable Dewormer

Injectable worming treatments help by paralyzing the worms in the intestines. The dog will then be able to pass the worms in their feces as an outcome.

Most intestinal worms are easily treated; your veterinarian will recommend treatment based on the diagnosis. However, treating heartworm illness can be costly and may call for $500 – $1,500 worth of injections.

Worm Treatment Frequency for Dogs

Since worms are most common in puppies, every puppy needs to be dewormed at least once a month until they reach the age of four months.

As long as your dog takes their monthly heartworm medication, the majority of which also protects against intestinal parasites, they won’t usually need proactive deworming as adults. Deworming is only necessary if an infestation is found.

Consult your veterinarian about your dog’s specific problems if you have an adult dog and are worried about worms to ensure they are safeguarded.

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