Seeing worms in your dog’s poop is almost always a sure fire sign of a parasite infestation. However, that’s not to say that if your dog is suffering from a worm infestation, you will be able to see this from his feces alone. Worms in dog poop is just one of the many signs of these parasites, but there are many other symptoms that you should be aware of.
While your dog’s feces will contain the eggs of the parasite, these are far too small to be seen with the naked eye. Likewise, only occasionally will part of the worm break off within the intestine and make its way through the rectum and into the dog’s poop.
Veterinarians commonly suggest routine examinations of your pooches fecal matter to spot infestations before more severe symptoms manifest. In cases of obvious visible symptoms of a worm infestation, the condition will have progressed to an advanced state, perhaps having caused extensive damage.
If your dog has contracted worms, it’s likely that he has either come into contact with another afflicted animal, sniffed around in soil where an infected dog has relieved himself or been bitten by a flea or mosquito that is carrying the parasite. You need to seek veterinary treatment as soon as you spot worms in dog poop.
Worms In Dog Poop
what it means and what you should do
Who's Most at Risk for Contracting Worms?
Unfortunately, all dogs are in danger of developing a pest infestation. Puppies and senior dogs often suffer from a worse reaction, as their immune system isn’t as strong to fight off these intruders.
While vaccinations don’t exist for this condition, it is advised that all owners undertake a de-worming routine that they follow with their dog whether they are showing visible signs of infestation or not. Most de-worming medications are designed to be mild on a healthy dog, yet strong enough to kill off any worms when present this makes it easy for all owners to keep their pups healthy!
Skipping a de-worming treatment can be tempting if you’re trying to save a few bucks here and there, but let me tell you that this is not the place to do it! Saving on one treatment right now may end up costing you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run and cause your dog pain and discomfort.
If you’re lucky enough to have multiple pets within the home, it’s important to quarantine the afflicted animal at the first sign of disease and thoroughly clean any areas where he has relieved himself. You can quickly disinfect these areas by clearing, and spraying with a household disinfectant, or better yet, a parasite-specific treatment and disinfectant.
Depending on the parasite that your dog is affected by, his symptoms can vary. Let’s take a look at five of the most common freeloaders that like to call your dog home. We'll run through the symptoms, home relief, medical treatments and contagiousness of each.
The most common parasite to infect dogs, the roundworm is almost a guaranteed illness that all dogs will suffer from in their lives. Often, puppies will become infected by their mother while feeding, and as the roundworm doesn’t always cause your dog to show symptoms (like worms in dog poop), it’s not always possible to tell which dogs are infected. This makes diagnosing difficult without medical testing.
In the majority of cases, roundworm infestations will not cause your dog to show outward signs of illness. However, the condition is always dangerous and therefore should be tested on an intermittent basis.
Puppies, older dogs, and those with weakened immune systems can show severe symptoms including:
Roundworm is highly contagious to other pets in the same household, and can, on rare occasions be passed from dog to owners. The best way to avoid this is to keep your home, garden and car clean.
Most de-worming products are available over the counter at your local veterinarian or pet store. This should be your first step after consulting with your vet. The most important at-home treatment you can use is to relieve the discomfort of the symptoms your dog is suffering from.
These are some of the most common symptoms associated with roundworms in dogs and how you can treat them at-home:
Is your dog not acting like his usual chipper self, and instead preferring to lay on his bed and feel sorry for himself? One way that you can help him to feel better is to place him in a quiet area of the house, preferably away from the hustle and bustle of kids and other pets. Make sure that he’s drinking enough fluids by adding a few frozen berries to his water bowl.
In cases of roundworm leading to a cough, this is due to the larvae making their way into your dog’s lungs. Medical treatment is a must, but to relieve a cough at home, you may feed honey either direct from the spoon or stir one tablespoon of honey into your dog’s water.
3. Medical Treatment
The usual course of action is a simple de-wormer taken orally, however, in some cases, your veterinarian may opt to use a stronger wormer that needs to be given subcutaneously.
It’s important to speak with your veterinarian if your dog is suffering from many of the symptoms associated with a parasite infection before de-worming at home as they will not be able to take both types of de-wormer, and the subcutaneous option may be better in your pet's case.
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The whipworm is a devilish tricky little blighter, most often picked up via contaminated soil where its eggs can survive for months or even years. It can also be passed on by an infected animal, but this isn’t as common.
- watery or bloody diarrhea
- weight Loss
There is no messing around when you feel as though your dog may have come into contact with contaminated soil or another animal. Seek immediate veterinary advice, and ask your vet to conduct all relevant tests.
Delay of treatment can result in severe health conditions including chronic colitis and anemia, both of which can be deadly in a worst-case scenario. If you notice worms in dog poop, your pet has already been infested with the parasite for days, so you need to seek veterinary are as soon as possible.
Once traditional medical treatment has been undertaken, you can move to a holistic solution to help clean up damage caused by the infestation, and boost your dog’s blood count which was likely massively depleted during the infection.
Raising iron levels is one of the best ways to help your pup feel well again. You can do this by feeding iron-rich foods including lean meat, cooked liver, nuts, and vegetables. Fortifying the diet of a canine suffering from anemia with B Vitamins is also a must, with egg yolks, carrots, pumpkin and whole wheat all great options to do this.
The most common medical treatment for Whipworm is albendazole and mebendazole; these two medications are taken orally for one to three days depending on the severity of infestation. Once a full-course of treatment has run its course, your veterinarian will likely re-test your dog’s stool to confirm that the whipworms and eggs are no longer present.
Your dog can contract the condition through ingestion of contaminated feces or soil. While whipworms can affect both humans and canines, you cannot contract whipworms from your dog’s saliva.
The hookworm is especially dangerous, because the areas that it bites within the dog’s intestine will continue seeping blood to the invasive nature of these bloodsuckers. Hookworms can be especially fatal when picked up by puppies. The most common cause of young canines developing hookworm is from the milk of their mothers.
An infected animal will quite quickly begin to look unwell, with a dull coat, cloudy eyes, and noticeable weight loss. Other physical symptoms include darkened stool, diarrhea or constipation.
This condition can quickly turn fatal if not treated due to the severe blood loss. Before you seem worms in dog poop, you should check your dog’s gums and ears for a paler than normal appearance to determine whether your dog is suffering.
Managing symptoms is your only real option, with the worst symptom being anemia. You can speak with your vet about the best ways to help boost your dog’s blood count. Standard methods of treating anemia at home are through diet management, herbal supplements and high-doses of Vitamin C.
Veterinary treatment is almost always required, with dewormers a must, other treatments that may be necessary include:
- subcutaneous fluid therapy
- blood transfusion
- oxygen therapy
These treatments are ordinarily performed only in more extreme cases, and the prognosis with treatment is guarded with some dogs just being too far along for effective treatment.
This is perhaps the easiest parasite for humans to contract, and they are very contagious. Hookworms can be transmitted by walking on contaminated soil barefoot. For dogs, they often pick it up from their mothers or from the stool of an infected dog, cat or fox.
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Perhaps one of the best-known types of worm, a tapeworm can grow to between four and eight inches long. They are made up of sections, each the length of a grain of rice.
Some of these sections will detach and be passed through the feces out of the rectum, which is when many owners notice white moving specs that are actually worms in dog poop. The departure of these sections of tapeworm can cause discomfort to your dog and cause him to “scoot” his rear end across the floor or bite at his rectum to relieve the itching.
There are few physical symptoms for a tapeworm infestation; the most common is, of course, his scooting his butt across the floor. Other symptoms can include vomiting and weight loss.
One natural remedy that is proven to work in helping to eliminate worms is administering ground pumpkin seeds orally. You can feed around ¼ teaspoon of ground seeds per 10 lbs of bodyweight.
The two most common oral medications for Tapeworm are Praziquantel, Nitazoxanide, and Albendazole. Other treatments including anti-inflammatory medication and even surgery in cases where cysts have formed.
Tapeworms are extremely contagious, most commonly picked up by your dog’s exposure to a carrier flea. Humans can contract the ailment in the same way and not through contact with the infected animal itself. However, if a flea from your dog is passed to you then it is possible to become infected.
In most cases of a worm infestation, you won't see worms in dog poop when investigating it or just picking up dog poop. That doesn’t mean that he’s in the free and clear. It’s vital to stick to a deworming program, with most veterinarians recommend de-worming of your adult pooch every three months.
You should also make sure your pet gets routine stool tests every six months. Parasite infestations are incredibly common and with careful management, don’t have to be a problem for your dog. Just remember that if you see worms in dog poop, you must seek treatment immediately or serious health complications could arise.