8 Signs Your Dog May Have Worms

Intestinal parasites are one of the easiest things for your dog to contract. Worms, specifically, can be picked up simply from a dog grooming herself after walking in a contaminated area or coming in contact with feces. Pregnant dogs can even pass some worms on to their puppies.

Dr. Kim Smyth, Petplan staff veterinarian, shared the following 8 signs your dog may have worms.

#1 – Diarrhea & Vomiting

These are two of the main symptoms most dogs display, since the parasites take up residence in the gastrointestinal system. However, since they are so generic, some pet owners may overlook them or think they are being caused by something else, which is why if you see either of these it’s always good to call the vet.

#2 – Lethargy

Some dogs can become lethargic, especially if they are anemic. Dogs may also be increasingly weak.

Image source: @Kevin via Flickr
Image source: @Kevin via Flickr

#3 – Weight Loss

Since the worms have taken up residence in your dog’s intestinal area, she may lose weight and become malnourished from loss of blood and nutrients that are not making it into her system.

Image source: @BenjaminVanderSteen via Flickr
Image source: @BenjaminVanderSteen via Flickr

#4 – Anemia

As mentioned above, dogs can become anemic from loss of blood if they are infected with certain worms like the hookworm. Left untreated, this is fatal.

Image source: @Commander,U.S.7thFleet via Flickr
Image source: @Commander,U.S.7thFleet via Flickr

#5 – Pneumonia

Your dog may start showing signs of pneumonia as the worms travel. If your dog is showing signs on pneumonia, take him to the vet immediately and have him tested for worms, to make sure that is not the cause. Either way, your dog needs to be treated for the pneumonia.

Image source: @TwinkleEnyong via Flickr
Image source: @TwinkleEnyong via Flickr

#6 – Pot Belly

A lot of puppies with worms develop a “pot belly” or distended belly when the worms cause the intestine to become swollen or inflamed. This is especially common in puppies who contract worms from their mother.

Image source: @readerofthepack via Flickr
Image source: @readerofthepack via Flickr

#7 – Worms in Feces

Some worms are visible in your dogs’ feces, a clear sign he is infected. Tapeworms shed segments that resemble sesame seeds or grains of rice. These can also be found in your dog’s bedding or around his rectum. Roundworms are long and thin like spaghetti.

Image source: @Amy via Flickr
Image source: @Amy via Flickr

#8 – Dull Coat

Roundworms can cause a dull coat since your dog is not getting the proper nutrients. A dull coat is always a sign your dog is not as healthy as he should be and you should bring it up with your vet.

Image source: @MillsBaker via Flickr
Image source: @MillsBaker via Flickr

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