Intestinal Parasites in Dogs

Intestinal Parasites in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Anemia / Diarrhea / Premature Labor / Vomiting / Weight Loss / Worms In Stool

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Rated as moderate conditon

20 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Anemia / Diarrhea / Premature Labor / Vomiting / Weight Loss / Worms In Stool

Intestinal Parasites in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What are Intestinal Parasites?

Intestinal parasites do not affect only certain breeds, all dogs are susceptible. Hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, giardia and coccidia are some of the more prevalent intestinal parasites that dogs can get.

It is common for your dog to become infected with an intestinal parasite at some point. There are numerous intestinal parasites that can afflict your dog, which is why regular fecal exams by your veterinarian will hopefully catch any infestation before it becomes serious or even life threatening. Some intestinal parasites can also be transmitted to humans, so early detection and careful handling of your dog’s feces is important.

Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites in Dogs

Most intestinal parasites do not show symptoms until the infestation has become severe. This is why preventative care and regular fecal exams are important to catch the infestation in its early stages. If you notice any of these symptoms, collect a stool sample from your dog and have your veterinarian check for any parasites.

Hookworms

will attach to the wall of the stomach and puncture blood vessels to feed on the blood. Hookworms can be transmitted to humans.

  • Poor growth in puppies
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark, tarry stools
  • Anemia

Roundworms

are the most common intestinal parasites in dogs. Almost all dogs will have an infestation of roundworms at some point in their lifetime. Roundworms can be transmitted to humans.

  • Diarrhea with mucus
  • Poor growth in puppies
  • Distended or swollen abdomen
  • Worms visible in feces
  • Vomiting worms
  • Coat is lackluster

Tapeworms

are flat, segmented worms that are found within the intestine. The segments of a tapeworm can become independent worms. Tapeworms can be transmitted to humans.

  • Malaise
  • Irritability
  • Failure to digest food or absorb nutrients
  • Diarrhea 
  • Emaciation
  • Variable appetite
  • Shaggy coat
  • Worms or segments visible in the feces

Giardia

is a one-celled parasitic organism that takes up residence in the small intestine. It is not a worm, bacteria or virus. Humans and dogs can contract giardia and easily transmit it back and forth.

  • Diarrhea
  • Poor condition
  • Weight loss
  • Death

Coccidia

are one-celled organisms that causes an intestinal tract infection. The most common type of coccidia found in dogs cannot be easily transmitted to humans. Other less common types can be transmitted to humans.

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Death

Causes of Intestinal Parasites in Dogs

Causes of intestinal parasites in dogs will vary depending on the type of parasite that has been identified. Your veterinarian can help you identify the source of the intestinal parasite once it has been classified.

Hookworm

  • Eating infective larvae
  • Transmission during nursing
  • Direct skin penetration

Roundworm

  • Passed from mother to puppies in utero
  • Transmission during nursing
  • Ingestion of larvae
  • Through contact with infected feces

Tapeworm

  • Eating infected prey animals
  • Fleas

Giardia

  • Dirty drinking water
  • Eating feces

Coccidia

  • Swallowing contaminated soil
  • Eating contaminated feces

Diagnosis of Intestinal Parasites in Dogs

Your veterinarian can diagnose most intestinal parasites by examining a stool sample under a microscope. The number of eggs or larvae present in the stool sample will give your veterinarian an idea of how severe the infestation is. The actual parasite will also be identified.

Once your veterinarian has determined that your dog has an intestinal parasite infection, a treatment plan will follow.

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Treatment of Intestinal Parasites in Dogs

Treatment will vary depending on the severity of the infestation and the type of parasite. Always follow the prescribed treatment plan exactly and take proper precautions to keep from becoming infested with the intestinal parasite.

Hookworm

Prescription oral medications will be used to eliminate adult hookworms. The treatment plan must be repeated several times to ensure that all hookworms have been expelled. A fecal exam during each follow-up visit will help your veterinarian in determining how effective each treatment has been.

Be sure to remove all feces from your yard immediately following your dog’s defecation to keep soil contamination to a minimum. Place feces into a plastic bag, seal and throw in the trash. Wash all bedding that your dog has had contact. Always use gloves when handling feces or contaminated bedding. 

Roundworm

Most puppies will have been put on a schedule of anti-parasitic medications that remove roundworm infestations by their breeder. Once your dog is old enough for heartworm preventatives, ask your veterinarian about a medication that also controls intestinal roundworm infections.

Remove all feces from your yard daily. Use gloves and put feces in a plastic bag to keep contamination to a minimum. 

Tapeworm

Anti-parasitic medications will be given either orally or by injection. These medications cause the tapeworm to dissolve in the intestines so a follow-up fecal exam will be necessary to determine if the infestation has been resolved.

Giardia

Metronidazole, which is an antibiotic, will be given for generally five to seven days. Fenbendazole may also be used with metronidazole. Follow-up fecal tests and treatments may be required depending upon the severity of the infection. If your dog is severely dehydrated, IV support may be required as well as other medications given by injection.

Wash your dog’s water bowl daily and give fresh water several times a day. Wash any bedding that your dog has come into contact.

Coccidia

 Anti-parasitic medication as well as oral antibiotic may be prescribed. Albon is a common treatment for coccidia. Your veterinarian will perform a follow-up fecal exam. Additional medications may be required. Be sure to treat all dogs in the home, not just the one presenting symptoms of coccidia.

If your dog is severely dehydrated, IV support may be required. Anti-diarrhea medication may also be administered if your dog is suffering from severe diarrhea. Remove all feces from your yard daily. Use gloves and put feces in a plastic bag to keep contamination to a minimum.

Recovery of Intestinal Parasites in Dogs

Treatment and prevention are keys to keeping your dog free of intestinal parasites. Request a fecal exam with every visit to your veterinarian so intestinal parasites can be found and treated before a severe infestation can occur. By treating a slight infestation of intestinal parasites, a quick recovery can be assured. If the infestation becomes severe, it will take your dog longer to recover once treatments have begun.

Follow your veterinarian’s treatment plan and always use medications as directed. Make sure that a fecal exam is completed at your dog’s follow-up visit to ensure that the intestinal parasites have been eradicated. Additional treatments may be needed to completely get rid of the intestinal parasites.

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Intestinal Parasites Average Cost

From 481 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$300

Intestinal Parasites Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Daisy

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Labrador Retriever

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8 Months

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Worms In Stool

We recently rescued an 8 month old lab. We did not have any indication she had ever been to e vet so we took her wednesday morning. She recieved exam, distemper and rabies shot, bordetella shot, had a negative fecal test and was given heart gard and nexgard. Thursday evening during our walk she had two different stools that little whit flat worms in them. I also found the same looking worms in her kennel as well and ones that looked like rice. I took the samples to the vet friday morning and they said she has no intestinal parasites. So what is in her poop?

July 27, 2018

Daisy's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

It does sounds like Daisy has some worms, sometimes a faecal floatation test may be negative which is why we normally repeat them in suspected cases of worms to be on the safe side. Without looking at the worms and proglottids (rice segments) I cannot say whether they are definitely worms or not. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 28, 2018

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Duchess

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Boxer

dog-age-icon

8 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Weight Loss

I have a 8 year old boxer that had a sever uti last year and was prescribed antibiotics that cleared the infection. However, blood work showed that kidney was not functioning well and she was prescribed Vet-SAMe to help support kidney. The vet told us to focus on quality of life since kidney was poor. Since than, she has continued to slowly lose weight all though appetite is strong and has diarrhea 3-5 times a month. Could these be signs of worms, parasites or likely related to kidney function?

July 13, 2018

Duchess' Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Diarrhoea and weight loss are symptoms which are non-specific and are common with many different diseases and conditions so it is difficult to narrow in on a specific cause; you should be treating for worms regularly with an anthelmintic as part of your prevention plan (worms, flea & ticks and vaccination). If kidney function is compromised, it is important to have your Veterinarian monitor it and also to try to determine whether there is an underlying cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 14, 2018

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Ellie

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Great Pyrenees

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8 Weeks

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Critical severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Roundworms

Our new puppy had diarrhea and was throwing up round worms. She spent the night in an emergency animal clinic the night after we picked her up. She was given an IV drip, Ivomec injection, Cerenia 10mg injection and Metronidazole Injection 5mg/ml-100ml. The next day we took her to another vet and she was prescribed Amoxicillin tablets 50mg 2x daily as well as metronidazole tablets 250mg half of one every 24 hours. She is getting progressively worse. She has stopped eating and drinking. Her last meal was at 2pm and we finally got her to eat a tablespoon of chicken. Nothing since. She wouldn't eat her puppy food at all. She won't drink at all. Her last sip was around 5-6 hours ago. We have given her 3 teaspoons of Pedialite that we are forcing down her with a syringe. She is lethargic and sleeps except when we force her up for a bit of Pedialite. We will take her back to the vet in the morning. She is 8 weeks old. She weighs just over 6 pounds and has lost about half a pound in 2 days. She is skin and bones. She is half Great Pyrenees and half Standard Poodle. The first vet said she tested positive for Parvo by a poop test. When we picked her up the next morning a different vet did a CBC and said she did not have Parvo. The breeder vaccinated her Friday the 16th for Parvo and 4 other things. Now the latest vet says she possibly could have it. This baby is getting sicker and sicker. What else can I do?

Feb. 21, 2018

Ellie's Owner


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3320 Recommendations

Without examining Ellie and doing a parvo test, I cannot confirm any diagnosis; however a diagnosis of parvo requires fluids, antibiotics and other supportive care which Ellie is receiving. If there is a large number of worm present, it is possible that an obstruction may occur if she was given an anthelmintic which may otherwise explain a loss of appetite. For the time being, continue treatment to maintain hydration and treat with antibiotics for any possible secondary infection and look for improvements; hydration is more important than food at this point so don’t worry too much about food. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 21, 2018

I have a strong Bernard which is about a year old and he have lost lots of weight in two months time , before that he use to eat almost 1.5kgs of food but now he doesn't eat even quarter of it and he is losing weight .... Please help me

May 30, 2018

Viking K.

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Beau

dog-breed-icon

Mix

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

This is a follow up to my earlier question. Tapeworms, diarrhea started after meds, has had diarrhea for 3 days now. I have been only giving him boiled chicken since Friday. I understand this is a side effect of meds and the diarrhea he should recover in days. My follow up questions are: How long should I allow the diarrhea to continue before a return visit to the vet? Also, how do I keep Beau hydrated? He is not drinking much water but he is definitely acting like himself.

Feb. 4, 2018

Beau's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

It would probably be a good idea to have Beau seen again today by your veterinarian if he isn't responding to the chicken and rice bland diet - he may need an anti-diarrheal if the treatment for the tapeworms caused insult to his intestines. If he is acting like himself, and not vomiting, it may be a very simple solution for your veterinarian to clear up his diarrhea. To assess if he is dehydrated, you can gently pull up on the skin behind his neck, and if it stays up, he is probably dehydrated. If it falls back down normally, he isn't dehydrated. Your veterinarian can help assess that for you as well and give him any supportive care that he might need. I hope that he is back to normal soon!

Feb. 5, 2018

I have a puppy Chihuahua that is approximately 12 weeks old 3 or less pounds and had mucousy diarrhea with worms in it so immediately I started treatment he has had to treatment so far out of A 3 treatment pack the first day I gave him the treatment within an hour he seem to feel better in later on that night he seemed to not feel good and he has not ate or drank very much if any except for the 10mms of Gatorade and water about every 6 hours that I have to force down his throat and I even made him special food that I knew he would eat and he did not eat it I'm very concerned and was wondering if it sounded like it's the worms was severe so it's taking him a little longer come back or is it something else

Feb. 11, 2018

Rose E.

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Beau

dog-breed-icon

Mixed

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

Hi My 2yr old dog was diagnosed with a tapeworm and he was given a dewormer Virbantel. He developed watery diarrhea and this is day 2. Vet is closed and won't open until Monday and I have had some unexpected costs most recently. Is it possible to provide something over the counter to get rid of diarrhea? I have been feeding him boiled chicken tenders. Thanks

Feb. 4, 2018

Beau's Owner


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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Virbantel (pyrantel pamoate and praziquantel) is an effective anthelmintic for tapeworms among others; if Beau has developed diarrhoea you should feed boiled chicken and rice as well as ensuring that Beau remains hydrated. If the diarrhoea is a side effect of the anthelmintic, no other treatment would be required as the stool will firm over over the coming days but if the diarrhoea is caused by another cause (infection, foreign object or poisoning) then another trip to your Veterinarian would be needed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 4, 2018

Thank you for your response. About how many days after the dose of Virbantel should I allow the diarrhea to continue before returning to the vet? Today, Sunday makes day 3.

Feb. 4, 2018

Beau's Owner

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Sadie

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

7 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Abdomen

We just got a 7 week old black lab puppy by default from "someone" saying they were a breeder 5 days ago. She was examined 4 days ago and determined to be healthy except for hookworms, round worms, and coccidia all of which she is being treated for. I did find one flea on her head and she is scratching a lot and chewing her paws and tail a light. She is acting completely normal and eating and drinking a lot. She is very active but then gets sleepy too. My concern is that her belly is a little swollen. Is this from the worms?

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Bailey

dog-breed-icon

Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Mucus

Sudden excessive mucus accompanied by occasional diarrhea. She has never had mucus in her stool before and I have notice a change in her appetite. She usually eats 2-3 small bowls of food a day, but is now only eating about once per day.

dog-name-icon

Potato

dog-breed-icon

Pomeranian

dog-age-icon

5 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Blood In Stool

My dog had some blood in his stool a month or two ago. Immediately i got him a dewormer. He did not have blood after. Then about 2 weeks later he got it again, I thought it could be stress because we had another dog over, so we never had anyone bring a dog over again. It stopped for about 2 weeks again then he got it again. It is also not continuous or anything it happens once in a while and then it is over. The stool just before or after it is perfectly normal. What can be causing this?

dog-name-icon

Nugget

dog-breed-icon

Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

10 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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-2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Blood In Stool

I recently adopted a 9 week old Chihuahua puppy. I noticed that she had blood in her stool and then took her to our local vet which said it was a intestinal parasite infecting her system. Prescribed Flagyl Suspension fluid 2x daily for 5 days which I gave her as ordered. Over one week I noticed that her stool was becoming more bloody and took her back to the vet. He then said that nothing else could be picked up but prescribed the same medication with Panacure for an additional 5 days. It’s 3 days in and she still has diarrhea with blood in her stool. She is bubbly and playful so not showing any other symptoms but I’m still worried?

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Chase

dog-breed-icon

Malmute mix

dog-age-icon

7 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

I recently rescued a 6 week old puppy from a very bad breeder. The breeder was giving him away for free because he could not use his back legs very much and was mainly dragging them. We took him to the vet and got his shots and was giving medicine that would supply him extra nutrients since the vet was thinking he might just be severely malnourished and was not strong enough to use his back legs yet.(he was also around older puppies who would pick on him and continually bite his legs and tackle him) He has since started to use his back legs more but is still very wobbly. He is now 7 weeks and we found out today that he has roundworm (4+), Coccidia (1+), and is positive for Giardia. We have started his medications to get rid of all of the parasites but I am wondering if the parasites could be the cause of his poor hind legs and balance. He acts like a normal happy puppy otherwise.

Intestinal Parasites Average Cost

From 481 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$300

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