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Dog Worms: Everything You Need To Know

Dogs are among the most popular pets in the world. While, adopting a dog may sound simple for some pet lovers, the efforts behind taking care of dog may not be that easy. Apart from providing the shelter, right diet and other useful things, every dog owner must also take care of its health problems. As far as dogs are concerned, dog worms or internal parasites are found to be the common health problem. So, it is good to gain some important knowledge about this health problem of dog.


What are the types of dog worms?

Mainly, there are four types of worms that invade dog’s digestive tract; whipworms, tapeworms, hookworms and roundworms. Some other worms that rarely affect dogs are heartworm that can invade the heart and circulatory system of dogs and flatworms that invade the lungs and kidneys of dogs.

How dogs get infected?

Dogs can get worms from different places. Food sources are one of the most common ways of getting worms. Devouring other animal feces is another potential culprit of getting worms. Mosquitoes and flea infestations can also bring on a bout of worms in dogs. Let see the way how different types of worms enter in the body of dog:

  • Roundworms- These are often passed to the puppies from a roundworm-infested mother because the larvae and eggs cross the placenta and infect the puppy in the womb. Eggs or larvae of roundworm are also excreted in the mother’s milk.
  • Tapeworms– These are caused by eating feces of a dog which is already infected with a tapeworm, or from fleas that contain tapeworm eggs. Therefore, hunting dogs with a flea infestation are likely to pick up tapeworms.
  • Hookworms and Whipworms- These worms thrive in the damp soil and a dog that runs on grass especially in humid, warm conditions are more at risk. These types of worm infections are more common in the kenneled dogs that have access to the communal grassy runs. If your dog eats grass, he can also have hookworm or whipworm infection.
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  • Heartworms- These are spread by insects such as mosquitoes and are therefore endemic in certain areas where these mosquitoes or insects are more common.
  • Lungworms- These are becoming more prevalent and are spread via slugs, fox feces, and snails. Contact with any of these is considered as a risk factor.

What are the symptoms and treatments?

It is believed by many dog owners that dogs with normal feces do not have worms, but it is not the case. Further, it is also rare for the pet owners to see sign of worms in the dog’s stool. There is also nothing about the consistency or appearance of a stool that will indicate if a dog has worms. The reason is that worms may remain in the body of dog while the only thing that is shed is Microscopic Eggs that can’t be seen with naked eye.

Dogs suffering from the worms may have conditions such as mild malnutrition or malabsorption, which results in weight loss, even though your dog appears to be eating normally. Due to malnutrition or malabsorption, the nutrients loss may also cause a loss of quality in the hair coat of dog. The hair coat may appear to be dull or unkempt.

Dogs with worms are diagnosed by a vet after studying their feces under a microscope. Most veterinarians check dogs on regular basis for the different dog worm types by looking for worms in their stool.

Treatments for intestinal worms generally consist of a broad-spectrum de-wormer like fenbendazole (Panacur), with the addition of praziquantel (Droncit or Dog Worms). Zoetis Alfanil Tablets is one of the effective medicines to control worm infestation in the pets.


Hailing from Delhi, Prateek Tiwari is an avid animal lover who believes in Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” A graduate in Biotechnology, he has vast knowledge about different breeds of pets and pet food that are both nutritious and promote healthy growth. In order to make people aware about pets and pet care, he shares his expertise through his blog posts.

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