Dog Worms Symptoms, Diagnosis&Treatment

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Dog Worms Symptoms

It is important that you understand the symptoms of worms in dogs, as this is the only way that you can help your dog if it is suffering from a dog worm infestation.

There are certain types of dog worms that only cause your dog to feel discomfort or experience a moderate illness. But there are others that can threaten your dog’s life.

Symptoms Of Worms In Dogs

weight loss

The first and most obvious symptom that your dog may be worm-infested is weight loss. Dogs who are suffering from a dog worm infestation often lose weight visibly in a relatively short time. Naturally, this can occur if you’re under-feeding your dog. But if you are feeding it properly and the dog still shows signs of weight loss, it most likely has a dog worm problem.

A Low Energy Level

Dog Worms Can Cause A Low Energy Level
Another sign of a possible worm infection is if your dog seems to be losing energy. For example, when your dog is healthy it will use up its energy when you take it on a walk – jumping, bounding and straining at its leash. The same is true if you allow it to run around in a dog park or if you hunt with the dog.

While each dog has a different energy level, you should be able to notice it if your dog acts unwilling to play or go for a walk, or seems to be spending most of its time simply lying around.

Coughing Fits Could Be A Symptom of Dog Worms

If your dog has been heavily infested with worms, it will often have coughing fits and may vomit. If you look closely, you may even be able to see worms in your dog’s vomit. While no one enjoys poking through dog vomit, it is important to do this, especially if your dog is having coughing fits.

A Potbellied Puppy Is A Symptom of Dog Worms

While adult dogs normally do not develop potbellies as the result of a worm infestation, puppies often do. So, if you have a puppy and it has developed a potbelly, it is probably suffering from a worm infestation.

Changes In Appetite Is A Symptom of Dog Worms

You know your dog’s appetite. For example, if you feed it twice a day you know whether or not it consumes all or only part of its food at each feeding. However, if you see that your dog is eating irregularly — skipping its morning meal or eating less than usual — it may have worms. Also, if your dog is very hungry one day but then shows no appetite the next, this may be a sign of worm problems.

Some Dog Worms Are Passed In The Stool

There are several kinds of worms that can be diagnosed by examining your dog’s stool.

For example, tapeworms or their segments can usually be found in your dog’s stool. You may also find tapeworms in or around your dog’s rear end. For that matter, you might find a tapeworm out in plain sight where your dog has been lying on the floor or on the sofa.

When tapeworm segments dry out, they become round, flat and white and look like grains of rice. So if you suspect your dog may have tapeworms, be sure to check its feces for “grains of rice.”

On the other hand, roundworms can rarely be found in the dog’s stool. In fact, the only real way to diagnose roundworms is through a fecal test that your veterinarian administers.

Mucous-Covered Stools Are A Symptom of Dog Worms

If your dog passes stool that seems to be mucous-covered – especially the last portion of the stool that your dog passes – it may be whipworm infected.


As you can see, there are a number of different symptoms of worms in dogs. It is important to be aware of these symptoms. Then, if your dog shows any of them, you will know it may have become infected and can have it immediately dewormed – to keep it happy and healthy.

Dog Worms Diagnosis and Treatment

The first step in dog worm treatment is determining that your dog does have dog worms. There are a number of different types of worms that can infect your dog and some of them show very different symptoms. For example, if your dog has become tapeworm infected, you will most likely see the worms – or at least worm segments – in its stool. Other dog worms, such as whipworms, and roundworms can be diagnosed by watching your dog’s behavior. If you notice it has lost its appetite, is eating irregularly, or acting very lethargic, it may have become infected with these pests.

How you treat your dog for worms will, of course, depend on the type of dog worm it has.

Intestinal Parasites

The five most common dog worms are heartworms, whipworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms.

All five of these dog worms are intestinal parasites. This means that, regardless of how they infected your dog, they will all end up living in its intestines.

This means that a process called deworming can eliminate most of them. The one exception to this is heartworms as they require special treatment.

Deworming Your Dog

If your dog has become worm-infested, a process called deworming can cure it. This can be done quickly and easily through the use of a deworming medication.

There are a number of these medications available. Here is information on some of the most popular of them.

deworming medication


Vitaform, the company that makes Wormout, says that it will treat all internal worms. This dog worm treatment comes in a dose of six tablets and is given to the dog at the rate of one tablet per 11 pounds of the dog’s body weight. It can be given to the dog orally or in its food. Wormout can be administered to a dog that’s as young as two weeks.

Safe-Guard Canine Dewormer

This dog dewormer is used for the treatment and control of roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms in dogs and puppies over six weeks of age. It is mixed in the dog’s food three days in a row. The manufacturer’s instructions are that you should give 2 grams of Safe-Guard per 20 pounds of the dog’s body weight. Safe-Guard comes in three-gram packets and usually costs around $5.50.

Panacur C

This dog worm treatment is used to treat hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms and whipworms. The usual dose for dogs is one packet, based on the dog’s weight, given once a day for three consecutive days. It can be mixed with a small amount of the animal’s usual food.

WormX Plus

Non-prescription WormX Plus comes in pork liver-flavored, chewable tablets. It is available in two sizes for accurate dosing. It is sad to prevent and treat roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. Its active ingredients are Pyrantel Pamoate and Praziquantel. The usual dose of WormX Plus for small dogs and puppies weighing 12 pounds or less is one tablet. For larger dogs, 12-25 pounds, the dosage is two tablets. These tablets are given as a single dose.

Drontal plus

Drontal Plus is said to be a broad-spectrum dewormer for dogs that can be used to treat tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms. It is available as scored tablets. The dosage is based on the dog’s weight. Drontal Plus’ manufacturer reports that the dose for small dogs is 22.7 mg, and 68 mg for medium to large-sized dogs. The smaller tablets cost $5.49; and the larger, 68 mg tablets are $12.99. It is given as a single dose. Drontal Plus can be obtained only via a prescription from your veterinarian.

Worm Prevention

Sentinel is dog worm treatment that requires a prescription from your veterinarian. Its manufacturer claims that this product is the only monthly oral preventative that guards against heartworms, adult roundworms, adult hookworms and whipworms. It should be used only with dogs that are four weeks or older and that weigh more than 2 pounds.

A Natural Alternative

There are also dog worm treatments that can be used to deworm your dog naturally. One of these, HomeoPet Worm Clear, is said by its manufacturer to be 100% natural, and is a fast-acting liquid product that can be used to remove hookworms, roundworms and tapeworms. It is also said to help prevent infestations by reducing the dog’s susceptibility to worms. The manufacturer says that Worm Clear is easy to administer either by putting it into the dog’s water or directly into its mouth. It should be given to the dog three times a day – once in the morning, in the evening, and then again at bedtime.

Heartworm Treatment

While heartworms are also intestinal parasites, they cannot be removed by a deworming treatment. Today’s most common treatment for heartworms is a drug containing arsenic, which is injected deep into the dog’s shoulder muscles. One shot of this medication is first given to the dog’s right shoulder and later that day to its left shoulder. The shots are given again the next day and in the same way. These shots are very potent and the dog must be kept indoors or on a leash for the next 4-6 weeks after this treatment.

Dog Worm Treatment

Dog worm treatment is relatively simple and inexpensive. So, if you find your dog has become worm-infested, don’t worry. Deworming the dog can be done quickly and easily, and your dog will end up happier and worm free.

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