There is a wide range of parasitic worms that dogs can pick up from being in contact with other dogs, having fleas, or spending time outdoors. Since worms are an internal health issue, it can be tricky to figure out if your dog is dealing with worms. This can be very problematic because a dog can develop severe health problems if the worms are not treated. You will need to carefully pay attention to your furry friend to figure out the answer to “does my dog have worms?” Be sure to keep an eye out for these signs of worms.
Worms Show Up in Feces
If your dog has worms in poop, then they definitely have worms. However, it can be tricky to notice when your dog has worms in poop. The worms may be very tiny, or there may only be worm eggs present. Look for small, round eggs, tiny thread-like worms, long flatworms, objects that look like rice, or round worm-like objects. In some cases, feces can also have blood in addition to the worms.
Upset and Bloated Stomach
Worms that reside in your dog’s stomach can cause all sorts of gastrointestinal upset. Some dogs may get a bloated stomach that looks round and tight. This symptom is especially common in puppies with worms. Worms may also cause your pet to get nauseous and vomit. In some cases, the vomit may appear bloody. Some types of worms may also show up in vomit whenever your dog pukes.
Changes to Appetite and Weight
Worms are parasites that steal nutrition from the food your dog eats. Some dogs respond to this by constantly being hungry and eating more food, while others may seem to lose their appetite. Dogs who are malnourished may lose weight rapidly. Their coat may begin to get dull and thin looking, so your dog’s bones will be more visible. The malnourishment that occurs when your dog has worms, may also cause them to get tired and sleep more often.
Worms Appear on Your Dog’s Bottom
Some types of worms can migrate along the gastrointestinal tract of your dog until they end up in the area around your dog’s bottom. If you are seeing tiny worms wiggling along your pet’s bottom, then the answer to “does my dog have worms” is definitely yes. Even if the worms are so small that they are not visible, you may still be able to notice this symptom. Worms can often cause itchy infections, so your dog may begin constantly scratching its bottom on the ground, against walls, or on your furniture.
Shortness of Breath
One of the most dangerous types of worms is heartworms which congregate in a dog’s heart and do not cause the normal gastrointestinal symptoms. Often, the only sign of these worms is that your dog will become fatigued and breath in shallow, rapid breaths. During exercise, dogs with heartworms may cough or faint.