It does not matter the age of the dog; worms are common ailments for them all. Either you are referring to a purebred dog from a reputable breeder or a rescue pup fresh in from the shelter; any dog can be infected by worm-related ailments at some point in their lifetimes. Different parts of a dog’s body are attacked by several types of worms. Worms come in different forms and effects. Some pose no hazardous threat to health risks and are easy to deal with, while others are fatally dangerous to dog’s life.

By learning about the five most rampant worms usually found in dogs, their symptoms as well as their treatment options, you can surely protect your pup by keeping her in good health. Just as applicable to all other health issues, it is mandatory to consult a professional veterinary doctor for diagnosis as treatment is only effective when the problem is detected very early. Prevention is better than cure, so is the regular say and the best prevention is by using medication like Advantix. I also suggest reading our article Frontline Plus VS K9 Advantix after this one.

Also, all puppies should be de-wormed. This should be done early in life. If you buy or adopt any dog, you should have it checked by a vet in the first couple days of bringing it home. Make sure to take a stool sample to check for worms while there.

  1. Heartworms

Heartworm is a very deadly disease that poses hazardous threat to dog’s life, and it’s actually caused by worms living in the arteries of dog’s heart and lungs. It is certain that dogs that contract heartworm and do not receive the relevant treatment will die from the complications inflicted by the infection. In all 50 states, heartworm is a great threat to dogs. However, the fact that the worm is spread via mosquito bites makes it less rampant in areas where the weather is cold.


Immediate signs of heartworm infection may not show in the body of your dog. In fact, for an infection to reach the point of bringing out obvious symptoms, it can take several months or even years. Fatigue during walks or exercise, loss of appetite, lethargic movements, and persistent cough are the symptoms of dogs with progressed heartworm infections.

A trip to the vet is the only successful way you can single-handedly catch a heartworm infection before your dog begins to show symptoms. Blood tests is the best way to spot the disease, however, some cases have been confirmed through the utilization of an ultrasound.

Treatment and prevention

Prevention is better than cure, and so is it the best course of action for heartworms. If your dog is bitten by a carrier mosquito, veterinarians have the prevention medication that they will give to her that will make her immune to being infected. These medications include a six-month shot, topical creams or monthly tablets.

It is very important for you to master this key point about heartworm: it is extremely expensive and complicated to repair heartworms, but the fact still remains that, it is easily preventable. Many dogs die during the treatment, while those that do survive also require several weeks to recover. Take no chances and ensure that preventive measures are taken; heartworm is no disease to be joked with. Spare your dog!

  1. Roundworms


Roundworm is yet another parasite that can bring harms to your dog. It survives on partially digested food in your dog’s intestine, where it makes a home. Basically, roundworms are of two types—one is more dangerous than the other because it can be transferred to humans and can inflict serious infection on you in the process. However, once a diagnosis is made, both types of roundworm can easily be treated.


A distended or swelled belly can be as a result of serious roundworm infections. When the case is getting too serious, the worm can result in the ruptures of abdomen. This may make your dog to have abnormal stool, act lethargic, cough or lose weight. Different types of worms and illnesses have similar symptoms, it is however vital that you bring your dog to the veterinarian for diagnosis if you suspect any strange signs that may indicate the presence of roundworms inflictions. Fecal swab can be utilized in diagnosing roundworms.

Treatment and Preventions

Roundworms are contracted by dogs through the drinking and eating of infected vomit, feces, water or food. In addition, a nursing mother dog that is infected with roundworms can easily transfer it to her young puppies. To stop a roundworm infection, there’s no preventive medicine, really. All you need to do is to inspect and supervise whatever your dog eats and drinks. Try as much as possible to control her eating habit by ensuring that he consumes only clean water and food that can be of help.

There are medicines designed to kill the roundworms present in the body, and the treatment of roundworms entails giving your dog these prescribed medicines. In extreme conditions, surgery may be very necessary in removing roundworm matter present in the feces in form of dead roundworms but this is very uncommon.

  1. Tapeworms

Photo by: dogbreedinfo.com

Photo by: dogbreedinfo.com

Another form of intestinal worm that feed off on food items that are partially digested whilst they take up residence in the small intestine of your dog is known as Tapeworm. This can also be transmitted to the human body, and can also cause fatal damage to the body of your dog if it’s not treated. On a general ground, the earlier the recognition and treatment of tapeworm infection, the better the prognosis is for your afflicted dog.


It is very easy to spot tapeworms in dogs because obvious exterior signs are the marks of its infection on any afflicted dog. Your dog is likely to be infected if you observe white pieces of worm in her feces. In some cases, tapeworms can also be seen under the tail of the dogs. In addition, it’s of a very high possibility that your dog is suffering from tapeworm infection if he constantly drags his butt or drags his rear on the floor.

Treatment and Prevention

By taking a close look at the feces of your dog, you can be provided with a positive tapeworm diagnosis by your veterinarian. The treatment of tapeworm requires a quick shot or oral medication once the diagnosis is set. The early detection of tapeworm renders it powerless, thereby reducing the risk of your dog being harmed by its infection. More so, the tapeworm will be killed off on the long run as long as you persist with the proper administration of the treatment recommended by your veterinarian. Fleas spread tapeworms; therefore, the infection can be stopped before it even begins at all if you keep your dog on a flea preventative.

  1. Hookworms

Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

Hookworms leech blood from the body of dogs and survive on it. They are referred to as—an extremely dangerous intestinal parasite. Hookworm is more dangerous for puppies, and the outcome of its infestation can also be very fatal for your dog if left untreated. You stand a chance of avoiding a long-term complication and getting your pooch back on her normal happy self if you spot hookworms early.


They cause severe injury to the intestine of dogs. The wounds created as a result of their biting continues to bleed even after they are done feeding, consequently resulting in the development of an overall unhealthy appearance, a poor appetite and anemia, over a certain period of time. Some dogs do experience hookworms in their lungs. Dogs with this kind of condition will cough and also stool unusually. Other obvious symptoms that can be noticed are pale nostrils, ear and lips.

Treatment and Prevention

A veterinarian utilizes a microscope in verifying the presence of hookworms in the feces of a dog. This is because hookworms cannot be easily spotted in the feces of your dog unlike tapeworms. Hookworm’s treatment is just like the treatment of other intestinal infections; medics’ area administered to the dog with the aim of killing the worms and allowing the dog to pass them. Hookworms’ treatment does not differ. Vitamin supplement may be recommended by your veterinary doctor depending on how severe the infection is. It should be noted that, even if you have started the treatment, hookworm is so dangerous to the extent that sudden death can still arise if your dog is inflicted by serious hookworm infections. The larvae of hookworm can be passed through a mother’s milk, absorbed through the skin or ingested.

  1. Whipworms


Whipworms also live in the intestine of your dogs where they act as parasites. Like other worms, they are also very dangerous and bring plethora of deteriorating side-effects.  Their infection can also be treated the same way that other intestinal parasites are treated. However, if the infection is quite worse, whipworms become slightly more resilient and may require a deeper training protocol.


Watery or bloody diarrhea is a mark of dogs that are suffering from whipworms. They general seem as if they are not feeling well—they will act fatigued and also lose weight. When you notice that your dog’s diarrhea is bloody, you should consult your veterinarian.

Treatment and Prevention

The treatment of whipworm is of the same technique and general pattern as that of other worms. It requires the use of special equipment, so, you need to contact your vet when you see obvious signs. Dogs get inflicted by whipworms when they ingest their eggs, and there’s really no sure way of preventing this from happening. Your veterinary doctor can however detect the presence of whipworms by checking your dog’s stool. Follow the recommended treatment plans as prescribed by your vet, kill whipworms and their larvae, and let your dog enjoy be healthy and happy.


The bottom line is that, worms are quite common in dogs, and it’s of no gainsay that you might likely have to deal with one type worm or the other over your dog’s lifetime cycle. However, the good news is that early detection of infestations leaves you no worries concerning the health of your dog, as it can be easily treated without any long-term side effects.

Related Posts

Follow us

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.