The Four Most Dangerous Dog Parasites

Parasites in dogs are very serious and may be life-threatening if not treated. There are many types of parasites, with some quite dangerous, but all are treatable.


Heartworms can obstruct the blood vessels and chambers of the heart impairing circulation of the blood. This may result in damage to the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys and, in rare instances, cause sudden death.


Hookworms attach themselves to the small intestines and draw blood from the dog. If not properly treated, they may cause anemia, hemorrhaging, shock and death.


Roundworms are parasites usually found in puppies but are usually expelled by the natural immune system by 6 months of age. Adult dogs contract roundworms by ingesting contaminated food or feces. This parasite affects the intestinal tract as well as the lungs and sometimes causes pneumonia.


Giardia is a parasite dogs may contract from contaminated water such as lakes, rivers and ponds. Giardia live in the dog's intestines eating the lining which results in inflammation, weight loss, bloating and mucus covered stool. If not treated, may cause other serious health problems.