Parasites: The #1 Cause of Puppy Vomiting

Most puppies are born with microscopically small roundworm larvae and unfortunately, these pests can cause everything from puppy vomiting to fatigue if left untreated. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat and prevent puppy parasites.

Parasites and Puppy Vomiting

Roundworms are the most common type of puppy parasites. They are whitish in color and look like cooked spaghetti. Female roundworms can produce up to 200 thousand eggs in one day. When the larvae hatch, they make their way into the intestinal tract where they infect the small intestine. The parasites feed on the contents of the puppy's intestines, which can cause puppy vomiting. It is important to note that severe infestations are more likely to cause large amounts of vomiting. In some severe cases, worms will also be present in the vomit. Other symptoms of puppy parasites include: diarrhea (sometimes with blood), gas, abdominal pain, weight loss, larvae in the stool, dry hair, a general poor appearance, and a pot-bellied appearance.

What are Puppy Parasites?

Puppy parasites are intestinal worms. The worms are usually passed from the mother to the puppy. The worms develop in puppies during their fetal life or they may be passed from the mother to the puppy through the mother's milk.

Types of Puppy Parasites

There are four main types of puppy parasites including roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Only two puppy parasites out of the four can be detected in the stool with an untrained eye-roundworms and tapeworms. Roundworms can infest adult dogs and cats and they can remain dormant for extended periods of times. Tapeworms can be transmitted to puppies through ingesting fleas. Tapeworms can grow up to six inches long and they look like a piece of rice in the dog's stool.

Hookworms are more common in dogs than cats. They are small, thin worms that attach to the small intestine walls and suck the blood of the dog. A severe hookworm infestation can cause much more than just vomiting. They can actually kill puppies. The puppy can become severely anemic from blood loss. Whipworms are rarely seen in the puppy's stool. They look like tiny pieces of thread. They live in the large intestine. Although whipworm can cause puppy vomiting, two major symptoms include chronic weight-loss and passing a stool covered in mucous. Whipworm rarely causes death.

Puppy Parasite Prevention

To prevent the transmission of parasites from the mother to the puppy, you should start by preventing infection in the mother. Keep your pets away from contaminated soil and egg bearing stools. This means, take special are when walking your dog in parks, dog runs, and allowing them to play with other dogs at dog parks. Dog runs and parks that look particularly "unclean," should be avoided. In addition, remove dog feces from the backyard immediately, use wormers under a vets care, and have your puppy's stool checked frequently.