Puppies often have intestinal worms and although they can become a major problem they are usually treated very easily if you catch them early! Worms are so common that all puppies should be given a deworming medicine on a set schedule as standard practice.
Even when following a deworming protocol your dog can still be infected with worms. Some common signs are:
- Bloody Stool
- Worms in Stool
- Worms in Vomit
- Pale tongue or gums
- Pot Belly
- Weight loss
- Licking or itching around anus
If you suspect your dog has worms you should definitely call your vet and set up an appointment to get them checked out. There are a variety of types of worms, read on below to learn a little about some common types of worms.
Roundworms are extremely common in puppies and they generally get the worms from their mother. They are usually white or light brown and look like pieces of spaghetti. The worms are commonly passed in the pups stool but sometimes they are thrown up as well. Your vet will want a stool sample to confirm roundworms and prescribe a treatment that is generally as simple as an oral dewormer.
Hookworms are common in puppies and often passed on to the pup from their mother. They can also be contracted be walking in contaminated soil or eating the hookworm larvae (often from dirt or stool). Hookworms generally are not noticed by owners in a puppies stool which makes them harder to detect. This is why it is important to follow a proper deworming schedule and to contact your vet if you suspect something is wrong with your puppy.
Whipworms are not contracted from a puppies mother like the two types of worms listed above. They are contracted through ingesting eggs in the environment (often in soil or grass). Visible worms are not generally noticed in the stool and unfortunately fecal samples will often show a false negative at the vets office. Many vets will treat a dog for whipworms even in the face of a negative fecal sample based upon the presence of symptoms that point to worms.
Dogs generally contract tapeworms by ingesting an infected flea. Tapeworms can grow quite large and are often passed in the stool. Although the worm itself can be large, the pieces that are found in the stool are generally small. They will often be moving in fresh stool and will look like dried up pieces of rice in dried stool.
Although the various types of worms listed above are very common, it doesn’t mean they can’t be dangerous. If you treat them right away complications are rare, but if you ignore the warning signs severe issues can arise. Additionally, keep in mind that reading online is not a substitute for veterinarian advice. When in doubt, reach out to your dogs vet.