Dog Health Insider

The Dog Owners Guide To Symptoms Of Worms In Dogs

Worms In Dogs

The symptoms of worms in dogs obviously vary depending on what type of worm your dog or puppy as been infected with i.e. Roundworms, canine Ring Worm etc. At the bottom of the page we will provide links to the different types mentioned above as this page is really only dedicated to how dogs ingest the nasty parasite and what you should do post infection.

Types Of Worms Commonly Found In Dogs

There are a variety of different types of worms in dogs and puppies including…

  • Roundworm
  • Whipworm
  • Hookworm
  • Ringworm
  • Tapeworm
  • Heartworm
  • Flatworms

Each type is also referred to as a parasite as they live off of a host i.e. your dog or puppy stealing important nutrients meant for your dog or puppy.

Symptoms of Worms in Dogs

It is actually impossible for you to stop your dog or puppy from ingesting worms (of course you can keep a close eye on you pooch when he is outside) but you are unlikely ever to actually stop your pet from getting infected by the nasty parasites. Most dogs will actually only show symptoms after the parasites have started to cause problems internally – sometimes your dog or puppy will not show any symptoms at all during the early stages. However if the parasites have caused a serious infection then your pooch may start to experience…

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss.
  • Decrease in energy
  • Lethargy
  • Bad breath
  • Anemia

Roundworms In Dogs

Roundworms tend to be one of the parasites that don’t exhibit symptoms however as the infection progresses your dog or puppy might develop an extended and bloated stomach – this often looks as if your pooch has a ‘pot belly’. As the parasites really take hold within your dog or puppy’s stomach your pet might start to cough or experience Pneumonia (this is because the parasites are working their way through your pets body). As the infection becomes more and more serious it is possible that your dog will continue to lose weight and it may even be fatal.

Tapeworms In Dogs

Tapeworms tend to be more easy to spot mainly because the infected dog will often drag his bottom along the floor – this is because the eggs tend to irritate the dog or puppy’s anus. With this type of parasitic infection you might see the signs of infection in his bedding or on the floor – they look like small grains of rice and are pale in color. Your dog might also show symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting.

Heartworms In Dogs

Heartworms are probably the most deadly and can be fatal to your dog or puppy very fast. These parasites are often carried by Mosquitoes (at least the microscopic version of the parasite referred to as Microfilariae). Once the Microfilariae have made it into your dogs heart (the right side), or in the lung arteries they will continue to develop and multiply.

Symptoms can vary depending on where the parasites have become lodged (the parasites need to mature for symptoms to normally develop) – also the symptoms can vary mainly because they can sometimes get lost on their way to the heart and lung arteries and get lodged in the leg or eye leading to lameness and even blindness. However, the most common symptoms are tiredness, coughing, weight loss, fainting, your dog might even cough up blood, congestive heart failure and death. If your dog does not do much exercise then you might not notice any unusual symptoms.

Hookworms pass into your dog through their skin where they will make their way into the lungs – after reaching the lungs they will then get coughed up and re swallowed back into the intestines – inside the intestines they will start to feed on blood – this will lead to a variety of symptoms including coughing, wheezing, anemia, weight loss, the poop may contain blood, diarrhea, the feet may become itchy and your pooch might suffer from cramps in the abdominal area.

Whipworms In Dogs

Whipworms also live in the intestines where they feed on blood (they will attach themselves to the intestinal wall). Your dog might experience symptoms including anemia, tiredness, slimy or bloody stools, weight loss, intestinal bleeding – your pooch might also become dehydrated.

Causes of Worms in Dogs

Your dog can ingest the parasites through a variety of different methods – your pooch might swallow fleas during grooming, eat a dead animal, infected poop, uncooked meat or fish, mosquito bites and very often they are inherited through their infected mother after being born.

Treating the Symptoms of Worms in Dogs

The treatment for the symptoms of worms in dogs depends on what type your dog has been infected by. The best treatment is always prevention – if you can prevent your dog from ingesting the parasites you are one step a head. When using a medication to kill the parasites it needs to be used on a regular basis as it only kills the parasites each time – it does not protect against them from being ingested again.

The most common medications used for the treatment of symptoms of worms in dogs are Drontal Plus and Milbemax. The best way to prevent worms is to de-worm your dog regularly from a young age (from about two weeks of age) with Panacur or Drontal Puppy Suspension (always speak to your vet). Pregnant dogs should also be treated – this should be from day forty.

Please remember that you should always speak to a vet before you attempt to treat the symptoms of worms in dogs.

Why not visit Out And About With Your Dog for more information onDog Health including dog worms.


1. A Guide to the Roundworms in Dogs & Puppies: Discover the causes, signs, symptoms and treatment for roundworms.

2. A Guide to the tapeworms in Dogs & Puppies: Discover the causes, signs, symptoms and treatment for tapeworms.

3. A Guide Whipworms and Hookworms: Discover the causes, symptoms and treatment for whipworms and hookworms in dogs.

4. A Guide Ringworm on Dogs: Discover the causes, symptoms and treatment for ringworm on dogs.


Dog Health Problems Online > Symptoms of Worms in Dogs

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