Worms in Dogs and Puppies

What are Worms? 

#1 - Roundworms are the most common internal parasite found in dogs and especially young puppies. After being swallowed, roundworm eggs hatch in the dog’s stomach. The larvae then invade the stomach wall, and are carried by the blood to the liver. From there, they migrate to the lungs, are coughed up, and are re-swallowed. The parasites eventually make their way to the small intestine, where they spend their adulthood and produce eggs (more than 100,000 eggs per day!) In adult dogs, canine roundworm larvae can migrate to tissues and become dormant.
#2 - Hookworms are thin worms that fasten to the wall of the small intestine and suck blood.
#3 - Tapeworms are a small intestine parasite that are segmented but are usually 6 inches or more in total. They absorb nutrients through its skin as food being digested flows past.
#4 - Whipworms are internal parasites that look like pieces of thread with one end enlarged. They live in the large intestine where they attach to the tissue and suck blood.

What Are the Symptoms of Worms?

#1 - Roundworms cause a pot-bellied appearance, poor growth, poor coat, slow growth, vomiting and diarrhea. Worms may be seen in vomit or stool.
#2 - Hookworms cause diarrhea, weight loss, anemia and progressive weakness.
#3 - Tapeworm segments containing the eggs are shed in the dogs feces. These segments are flat and move about shortly after excretion. They look like grains of rice when dried and can be found either in the dog’s stool or stuck to the hair around his anus.
#4 - Whipworms may not cause any signs in small numbers but a heavier infection can lead to diarrhea, weight loss, blood loss and anemia.

Are Worms Contagious?

#1 - Roundworms are passed to other animals or humans. The eggs of roundworms are passed in the feces. Therefore, wherever contaminated feces is likely to be found, such as parks, playgrounds and sandboxes, the chances of a dog or child's accidental ingestion of roundworms eggs are increased. Adults handling an infected dog and not washing their hands thoroughly can contract the worms.
#2 - Hookworms can be transmitted by contact with contaminated feces. Unborn pups can be exposed through the mother. Humans can contract hookworm through contact with contaminated feces or soil or by eating improperly washed vegetables which may harbor contaminated soil.
#3 - Tapeworms are transmitted by the consumption of an infected host (such as a flea), or by ingesting the Tapeworm eggs from the fecal material of another animal. Humans can be infected but it is rare to get it from dogs.
#4 - Whipworms are transmitted to other dogs or humans by ingesting soil or water contaminated by the feces of infected animals.

What is the Treatment for Worms?

#1 - Roundworms are treated by a number of deworming products. Pyrantel pamoate (HeartguardPlus), Fenbendazole (Panacur), Milbemycin Oxime (Interceptor & Sentinel) and several more. Your vet will prescribe what’s best for your dog.
#2 - Hookworms are treated with a dewormer such as Interceptor or HeartGuard. Consult your vet for the one best suited for your pet.
#3 - Tapeworms are treated effectively by prescriptions drugs purchased from your vet.
#4 - Whipworms are treated with Panacur or Drontal Plus. Also Sentinel and Interceptor dewormers are effective in the removal and control of whipworms. Consult your vet for the best treatment.

How are Worms Diagnosed?

#1 - Roundworms are found by a vet examining the feces or seeing the presence of worms in vomit or stool.
#2 - Hookworms are diagnosed by a vet examining the feces for eggs under a microscope.
#3 - Tapeworms are found by a vet examining the feces or seeing the presence of worms in vomit or stool. As the tapeworm drops small segments from their tail theses can be seen in the dog’s feces or as small white things on the dog’s hair on his rear. Segments may also be seen in the dog’s bedding. Adult tapeworms may detach from the intestinal wall and be vomited up or excreted. They are flat and look like a segmented cooked noodle.
#4 - Whipworms are diagnosed by a vet examination of the feces. Several checks may be necessary before a definitive diagnosis can be made.

How Did My Puppy Get Worms?

#1 - Roundworms are contracted in 4 ways.
a. Consuming infected worm eggs from soil in the environment
b. Nursing from an infected mother dog.
c. Consuming a prey animal that is carrying the developing worms.
d. During embryonic development when an infected mother dog is pregnant.

#2 - Hookworms can be passed to unborn puppies by the mother or puppies can contract hookworms if they consume contaminated feces or by mouthing contaminated toys or objects.
#3 - Tapeworms are contracted by the ingestion of infected fleas, or consuming the Tapeworm eggs from the feces of another infected animal or contaminated soil.
#4 - Whipworms are contracted by contact with contaminated feces or soil. Soil contaminated by whipworm eggs is contaminated for years.

How Can I Prevent My Puppy From Getting Worms?

#1 - Roundworms can be prevented by keeping the puppy’s area clean and regularly administering a dewormer.
#2 - Hookworms can be prevented by keeping the puppy’s area clean and regularly administering a dewormer.
#3 - Tapeworms can be prevented by keeping the puppy’s area clean, a regular deworming each month and by flea prevention.
#4 - Whipworm can be prevented by keeping the puppy’s area clean and regularly administering a dewormer.

When Will My Puppy Most Likely Get Worms?

Roundworms, Hookworms, Tapeworms, and Whipworms can infect a puppy or dog at any age...

Disclaimer: We are NOT licensed vets. DO NOT try to diagnose or treat animals based off this or any other information you find on the internet.  If you pet is having any kind of medical issues, please seek professional treatment from a licensed vet who is trained and set up to handle such matters.