Dog worms the wriggly details

Cat Litter Box Furniture

Pet Supplies Coupons

See all pet coupons

Ask The Vet Home > Dogs > Dog Care > Worms

When an owner comes into the clinic to exclaim that their dog is infested with worms (usually means that they've found them wriggling in the poop), generally it means they've found roundworms. Roundworms are the most common and most puppies will have the odd roundworm or 2 some time in their lives. Other worms that can be found in poop (usually referred to as rice grains moving in the poop) are tapeworms and can be found in young and older dogs. The other worm that can sometimes appear in poop are whipworms but these really only appear if the puppy has had a severe 10% off, No Minimum Purchase at! infestation.

The only real way of checking for possible worm infestations apart from the finding a live one in the poop is with a poop sample that your veterinarian looks under a microscope. There we check for worm eggs which aren't usually visible to the naked eye. Some dogs can have worms with no overt signs but if the infestation is severe enough, usually you'll find the dog isn't thriving, has a pot belly, with the usual diarrhea (with or without blood) and occasionally they'll also be vomiting.


Most commonly seen in puppies but can self-activate if present in pregnant bitches in readiness to infect the newborm pups. Puppies with roundworms live in their intestines giving them a pot-bellied appearance. Their presence in the intestines results in poor food absorption and these puppies usually fail to thrive. In some extreme cases where there are lots of worms, they can actually clog up the intestine and cause death. You are also likely to see the worms in the vomit or poop of affected puppies.

An adult worm can grow to seven inches long. Roundworms are prolific and can produce up to Animal Den - Gift Shop for Animal Lovers! 200,000 eggs daily. The eggs are shed in the poop of dogs and due to their hard casing, can exist in soil for years. Infection occurs when dogs ingest the worm eggs. These eggs then hatch in the dog's intestine and the larvae enter the bloodstream for a sidetrip to the lungs. Once there, the larvae crawls up the trachea and the dog then swallows it. This process can cause puppies to cough so you can sometimes find them coughing little worms up. Any larvae that gets swallowed then continue growing in the dog's intestine. Adult dogs don't usually have roundworms. The exception is in pregnant bitches where roundworm larvae can live in a suspended state in the body and then reactivate late in pregnancy to infest new born puppies.

Most dewormers in the market will target roundworms. It must be noted that worming the pregnant bitch doesn't seem to help ie they seem to still activate despite it which is why most breeders will worm puppies routinely.


Often hard to pick them, if only because they aren't usually present in large numbers. They look like skinny bits of thread but are so small it's hard to pick with the naked eye. Whipworms live in the dog's large intestines and produce eggs only sporadically, unlike roundworms who produce eggs in copious amounts. This is why it's often difficult to diagnose because several fecal samples may have to be taken to find the eggs in the poop. Because whipworms attach themselves to the intestinal walls and feed, they cause intestinal bleeding. Puppies with whipworms are often anemic (therefore have low energy) and have diarrhea with blood in the poop.


Hookworms can affect a dog at any Save Now at age. It's similar to whipworm in that it hooks onto the intestine and sucks blood resulting in anemia - which results in a lethargy, pale gums, diarrhea with blood. Hookworms are not visible to the naked eye so vets usually make the diagnosis based on finding the eggs in a poop sample.

Hookworms can be transmitted to humans by penetration of the skin - so walking barefoot over infected soil can result in hookworm infestation. Humans infected with hookworms have similar symptoms - ie bleeding in the intestines and diarrhea.


If you look at a tapeworm under the microscope, you will know where it gets its name from. Tapeworms have a long, flat appearance - like a tape with segments that break off. Owners often report of moving grains of rice on their dog's poop and these are tapeworm segments. Whilst heavy infestations of tapeworms result in vomiting and weight loss and sometimes itching around the anus, most dogs with mild infestations show no overt signs at all. Tapeworm segments contain eggs which need to be ingested by flea larvae first before it can re-infest a dog. By the time the flea is an adult, the tapeworm is ready to infect a dog or cat. Dogs ingest fleas whilst grooming themselves, once inside the dog, the flea gets digested and the tapeworm inside the flea gets released into the intestine and the cycle starts again.

Problem with tapeworms is that not all deworming medication targets tapeworms. Read the labels of your dewormers (which will tell you if they cover tapeworms as well) to ensure that your dog is properly covered.

Past dog health questions

  • Forgetting to give dog heartworm tablet
    I forgot to give my dog (5yo female German Shepherd) last month's dose of dirofilaria medication. If I give her a dose this month, is there still a possibility that she could come down with heart worms?? If she has heart worms,is there a way to test her to early on before the disease gets out of control?
    Pay just $3.95 for the answer - click here

  • Dog itching and scratching around anal and vaginal area
    My dog (4yo female neutered Bassett Hound) of late has been itching and licking here vaginal area as well as her anal area. I have noticed that she is dragging her backside after she poops, could she have worms and possibly a urinary tract infection?
    Pay just $3.95 for the answer - click here

  • Dog leaving brown marks on carpet
    Our Lab Sophie (8yo female neutered) is leaving brown marks on the carpet. It has been going on for the past 2 months. Very light marks. It is not coming from her paws as I have checked very closely. It does smell a bit like feces. We have checked her for worms, gave her several baths, and had her anal glands looked at. The vet thought she did not not them expressed. As we have twin girls who arer ready to crawl I would really like to stop these stains! Your help is appreciated. Thanks.
    Pay just $3.95 for the answer - click here

  • Puppy diarrhea
    About a week ago my dog (16weeks male Golden Retriever) started pooping a wattery poop in the afternoons his 2 morning poops were normal. We assumed he ate something. On Friday he became lazy and had a hard time pooping and it was watry and mucus. The vet checked his poop for worms and a single cell orgaims that I can't remember the names of and said it looked like he wasn't digesting his food good and the was a minor amount of blood and gave him some medicine for diarrhea that smelled like pizza. After a day of that he wouldn't hardly poop at all, he tries 2 or 3 times before going and it is a very small amounts and its still watery and yellow. After he had the yellow mucus one he tried about 8 times since and nothiing. He didn't eat much Sunday and It's Monday morning and I'm going to take him back to the vet. But I am looking for a second opion.
    Pay just $3.95 for the answer - click here

  • New puppy with tummy and skin problems
    We got our puppy (9week old Cane Corso male) last saturday, which he was shipped from New York to Durham, N.C. and our new vet is not familiar with the breed of cane corso which makes us uncomfortable. so we thought we would give this a try. We also have multiple questions so this may seem like a lot. Our first visit, they found coccidia in his fecal exam, and he is under medication we give him for the next 14 days. It seems as though 1 hour after we medicate him, his stomach expands/bloats 2 times its regular size. also, he sleeps an incredible amount of the day, which worries us. our vet said the stomach size is not from the medication, but i can't seem to think what else it is. our second problem is a small bump on his head. it is hairless, but doesn't seem to bother him, but it is concerning us. the vet just said we will keep an eye on it. should we get a skin sample from it to make sure it isn't mites or mange? about 2 hours ago we were looking at the puppy's belly and saw what look like nipples but are actually puss-fulled bumps, and we have no clue what it is. the dog was de-wormed by the kennel we bought him from, so could it still be worms? Im not sure if all these problems are somewhat normal in puppies or not, or if we should be angry with our breeder. Do you think i should try to find a vet that knows more about cane corsos than our current vet? Are most of these problems really serious?
    Pay just $3.95 for the answer - click here

Search past pet health questions :
In species:

Vet question of the day

Add to Dog with allergies
My dog (4yo Miniature male neutered Dachshund) has been through much testing and has been diagnosed as having allergies. After spending oodles of money on serum and giving him allergy injections as prescribed, they just arent working. He is contantly itching, and biting at his skin, has scabs (almost like cradle cap) on top of his head. His eyes are puffy and his skin smells. He was given antibiotics, but they just dont seem to work anymore either. I know this is a complicated question, but we are spending so much money on these vet appointments and getting no answers. Can you suggest anything else that could be wrong with him? I was thinking possibly an adrenal function problem, or a liver problem? Any advice would be great. - Click here to read the answer
More pet health questions



Dog breed choosing
Dog health questions
Dog heartworm
Dogs for people with allergies
Male dog names
Girl dog names
Dog lover gifts
Dog jewelry
Dog supplies
Dog supplies UK
Dog food natural
Dog posters
Dog breeders
Past dog health questions
Dog collars
Dog houses
Frontline plus for dogs
Revolution for dogs
Advantage for dogs

Male cat names
Female cat names
Cat jewelry
Cat lover gifts
Cat posters
Cat supplies - petco
Luxury cat supplies - Catsplay
Cat supplies UK
Past cat health questions
Frontline plus for cats
Advantage for cats
Revolution for cats

Fish Tanks
Betta Fish Care
Fish Diseases
Fish lover gifts
Fish posters
Aquarium supplies

Hamster Care
Rabbit Care
Bird supplies
Bird posters
Ferret supplies
Reptile supplies
Hamster Mouse Rat supplies
Pet supplies UK

Flea Control
Ticks and tick diseases
Ring Worm Symptoms
Past pet health questions
Pet travel
Pet air travel
Pet friendly hotels
Pet animals tips

Pet coupons
Kids Section
Stuffed animals
Pet of the month
Online Virtual Pets
Virtual pets - dog frisbee game
Gifts for animal lovers
Links directory 1
Links directory 2
Contact me
Link to ask the vet
Advertising rates