It is common to see worms in dog poop after deworming. Read more about why your dog poops worms, symptoms, and treatment for dogs pooping worms.
It takes a very keen eye to spot a problem with dog poop. Unlike pet cats who use the litter box, most dogs conduct their ‘business ‘in the yard or on different surfaces. This is done to mark their territories.
Spotting worms in dog poop can be shocking especially in domestic dogs who receive only the best when it comes to medical treatment and regular meals. However, due to the low protein and calcium content in kibble diet, the presence of too many sugars attracts parasites.
More so, this affects the decomposition and dog feces which may take up to a year to decompose. Not only is this toxic to the environment but it increases the risk of recontamination to other animals and humans as well.
Symptoms of Worm Infection in Dogs
The presence of the worms is one of the biggest telltale signs that there is a serious infestation of the intestinal tract that needs urgent medical attention. There are also other symptoms that may indicate this infection and include:
- The dog appears anemic. Most of the worms attach to the intestines and drain the blood. They also attack the red blood cells lowering the blood count in the body. Read more on Anaemia in dogs here.
- Weight loss despite increased appetite. The worms attach to the intestinal tract and take up all the digested food and nutrients before they are absorbed by the body.
- Bloody diarrhea due to the erosion of the intestinal walls by the worms
- Potbellied dogs since the worms take up all the nutrients and congest the stomach making it appear bigger.
- Mucous filled stool if the worms attach on the mucous membranes.
- Dull fur coat due to dehydration caused by the lack of nutrient absorption and water in the body.
- The dog can be found excessively scratching, biting or licking their nether ends. Dogs also poop in a North-south position so when you notice them squatting while pooping the skin might be very irritated.
- Excessive coughing which occurs when the worm larvae move up to the dog lungs and heart
Causes of Worms in Dog Poop
- Flea infection
- The consumption of infected meat such as rabbits and rats
- Drinking stagnant water from lakes, streams, and ponds
- Ingestion of infested soil and feces
Types of Worms in Dog Poop
Though some worms are noticeable in poop it is best to carefully examine the correct parasite to allow for correct treatment. They include:
Referred to as Angiostrongylus Vasorum these parasites are introduced into the body through the consumption of infested slugs and snails, especially in the spring season. During play, dogs are likely to ingest these slimy creatures which act as hosts for this particular worm.
Drinking from stagnant water bodies that have had contact with the slugs and snails also increases the risk of infection.
Once in the body, the larvae mature and attack the lungs, heart, liver and the intestines. This causes hemorrhages and cardiac problems.
When an infected dog poops it is not easily transmitted through the soil or feces. Re-transmission will occur when the infected poop is consumed by a snail that is then ingested by a new dog.
Commonly referred to as heterobilharzia americanum these worms also use snails as their hosts.
The only difference is that the worms are transmitted through the consumption of contaminated water that contains snail feces.
Once ingested through the water it attaches to the skin and moves slowly to the lungs and stomach area where it deposits eggs into the intestine. The eggs are passed out as the stool but the ones that still remain are absorbed into the bloodstream further affecting the kidneys and other organs.
These worms are microscopic in size standing at just three-quarters of an inch. They attach themselves to the small intestines through their hook shape and suck the blood from the body.
They get the dog through contaminated soil and infected feces. When dogs step on infected poop, the skin cracks and open wounds in their paws attract the worms into the body system. Also during play dogs are likely to ingest the infected soil that introduces the parasites to the body.
Hookworms can be also be passed to dogs at an early age. This is through the uterus when puppies are still in the mother’s womb or the ingestion of mother milk that has a lot of the eggs.
It is difficult to spot these worms in dog poop since they further shrink to about ¾ inch and thus require a microscope.
The specific type that affects dogs is Toxocara Canis. They appear in a spaghetti circular shape usually white or light brown in color and can stretch to 20cm. Mostly spread through contact with contaminated feces that is absorbed by the soil.
Roundworms can also be present in dogs at an early age. At birth, roundworms are transferred through the placenta and mother’s milk into the puppies where they embed in their intestinal tissues.
When infected dogs poop, these worms are able to hide in the soil for over ten years while still producing eggs. Dogs ingest this soil and swallow the eggs which turn into larvae and are toxic as early as three weeks.
Once in the body, the eggs spread through the liver into the windpipe forcing the dog to cough due to blockage. This action further pushes the larva directly to the intestines. They attach themselves to the intestinal tissues and develop into adult worms which lay eggs and multiply in the body.
Dogs are natural born hunters and even the most domesticated ones can be found scavenging for rats, birds, rabbits, and rodents.
Tapeworm is spread through fleas which carry their premature eggs and are easily ingested by the hunted animals. Fleas are transferred to the dogs through the consumption of the flea infected meat or during grooming as they also exist in the fur.
Once in the body, they attach to the walls of the small intestines and continue to develop into adult worms. They are 6- 28 inches long and have proglottids or segmented bodies which can extend to ninety segments each filled with parasitic eggs.
These segments periodically detach from the body and appear as flat, short and wiggly threads on fresh poop and when dry they become grain shaped.
Tapeworms are visible in the anal area and they appear as white or cream grain substances that move around when the poop is still fresh.
Appear as thread-shaped where one end is larger giving it the ‘whip’ shape. They are located in the large intestines and can stretch to at least 3 inches long.
These worms spread through contaminated soil and feces and their eggs can survive for five years in soil.
Their shape allows them to attach their ends on the mucous membrane in the large intestines where they drain the blood and tissue fluid.
Whipworms are not easily noticeable and require a microscope for detection as they further shrink during excretion.
Blood test and chest X-rays to identify lungworm infection which spreads to other body organs.
Fecal flotation test. This technique uses recently collected stool at least a teaspoon which is mixed with zinc sulfate. The use of the solution helps to float the eggs above the surface to allow for examination. This helps to identify hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and whipworms.
Fecal Baermann which is used to test larvae present in stool. It is used in instances where the worms don’t have produce eggs such as the lungworm. It involves the use of at least 3 teaspoons of fresh poop covered in warm water for two hours. After this, the larvae sink and it is able to be examined.
Treatment of Worm Infestation
To prevent the occurrence of worms poop some of the home remedies may include the use of anthelmintic drugs that destroy the parasitic worms and they include:
Rich in cucurbitin an amino acid which impairs the worm’s ability to attach to the intestinal walls. This is especially effective for round worms and tapeworms. The zinc content present in pumpkin seeds helps to remove worms from the body.
The seeds contain vitamins K, E, C, D, B as well as calcium, potassium and phosphorous. This help to improve the dog’s immune system
Recipe: Grind raw organic pumpkin seeds and mix in dog food twice daily. The correct dosage should be a quarter teaspoon per 10 pounds of dog weight
Herb that has high anti-parasitic, antiseptic, antimicrobial and anthelmintic properties which are able to flush out worms.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in the herb act to boost the immune system and fight off infections.
Highly potent since it contains tannins and volatile oils that can damage the nervous system it should be used in very small quantities.
Recipe: The herb should be boiled then diluted with a few tablespoons of water before being administered. Such as quarter teaspoon for large dogs, 1/8 for medium and 1/16 teaspoon for small dogs.
Due to its high potency, it should not be given for more than three consecutive days.
Known for its anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties that purify the body by assisting the liver to detoxify any remnants left by parasites reduce damage. It also heals intestinal wounds preventing bloody stool.
Recipe: crush turmeric paste or powder and mix in dog food for fifteen days. For every ten pounds of dog, weight use a quarter teaspoon of turmeric
Herb-rich in antimutagenic, antioxidant, antimicrobial and germicidal properties that also work to boost the immune system. This is by boosting the production of white blood cells in the dog’s body to help fight worm infestation. The presence of eugenol and caryophyllene destroy the worm’s eggs and larvae completely eliminating them.
Cloves also help to stop diarrhea by smoothening the stomach lining and repairing the damaged areas.
Recipe: Crush the dry clove and mix with dog food daily for a week. Since it is highly potent its best to give correct dosage. For large dogs, one full clove can be used once a day, for medium dogs its half a clove and a quarter clove for small dogs.
Helps to boost blood circulation thus prevent anemia which is caused by the attachment of the worms to the intestinal linings.
It also boosts the production of stomach acids which provide an unhealthy environment for the worms to thrive. When there is too much acid, the worms can’t attach themselves on the dog’s intestinal linings
Recipe: Crush or blend a ginger root and add mix with dog food.
Known for its antiparasitic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which help fight worm infestation. This is due to the presence of sulfur which is also effective against lungworms.
Best used as a preventive measure it works by curtailing the development of worms’ eggs into larvae killing them before they mature.
Contains allicin and ajoene compounds contribute to its anthelmintic properties which are powerful parasite destroyers especially hookworms.
It also eliminates the occurrence of fleas thus combating the spread of tapeworms
Recipe: Grate three cloves and mix with fennel before giving to a 100-pound dog. Reduce to ½ garlic clove for a 15-pound dog. Due to its high sulfur content, it should not be used for more than a week
Carrots have antioxidant properties present in the vitamin A found in beta-carotene which kills the worm eggs before they can mature. The beta-carotene also removes from the stomach the dead eggs thus relieving the inflamed stomach linings and boost the immune system.
Recipe: Grate fresh carrots and administer to dog at least two tablespoons daily.
The seeds contain papain enzyme known for its anti-amoebic and anthelmintic properties which kill the worms.
Grind to powder some papaya seeds and use the mixture for a week. Use 2 tablespoons per 20-pound dog weight. The papaya can also be chopped into chunks and fed to the dog.
Both the vegetable and seeds contain powerful enzymes that destroy tapeworms including their heads. This ensures total elimination of the worm from the dog’s body.
Recipe: Grate or chop the cucumber vegetable and powder the seeds and feed daily to the dog.
Has antiparasitic properties and is highly rich in lauric acid when ingested it is converted to a laxative like substance due to the presence of monolaurin. This eliminates the worms that are clumped together especially roundworms.
Worms attach to the intestinal lining and may cause inflammation of the wall and tissues. Pineapple contains bromelain enzyme which has anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe the lining.
The worm’s outer cover is made of a protein that helps it to attach on to the intestine linings, the presence of bromelain breaks down these protein coatings destroying their grip.
Since they depend on attachment for survival, they fall and are subjected to digestion completely destroying them.
- To avoid re-infection it is best to clean the yard once a week to remove feces and possibly change the defecation area to avoid larvae infested area.
- Regular deworming
- Adoption of a raw meat diet that will help to provide essential proteins and minerals.
- The introduction of fermented foods in the diet to provide the much-needed probiotics. These enzymes provide enough good bacteria to fight off the parasites in the digestive system
Pets and Parasites: http://www.petsandparasites.org/dog-owners/roundworms/
Common Canine Worms and Intestinal Parasites: https://www.thespruce.com/common-canine-intestinal-parasites-1117426
Worms in Dogs: https://www.dogbreedinfo.com/worms.htm
Symptoms of Worms in Dogs: https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/other-worms/symptoms-of-worms-in-dogs