Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites in Dogs

Intestinal parasites are common in dogs and will lodge in the intestines of the dog and feed on the nutrients the dog consumes. There are several types of intestinal parasites that may affect dogs, the most common being hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms or whipworms. The presence of the intestinal worms will cause stomach problems resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. The parasites should be eliminated to keep your pet healthy, so it is important to recognize the symptoms of canine intestinal parasites.

Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites

The symptoms of intestinal parasites may range from subtle symptoms such as dull coat to more severe symptoms such as chronic vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. It is important to keep an eye on the behavior and elimination patterns of your pet, so that you detect the worms as early as possible.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Intestinal parasites are most often manifested through vomiting and diarrhea; the worms will be present in the intestinal tract and will cause discomfort. The vomiting or diarrhea will be chronic and this can be dangerous, as the dog can get dehydrated. The dog may also lose weight as a consequence of vomiting and diarrhea.

The feces may be tarry or contain segments or worms or smaller worms that may be dead or moving. There may also be blood or mucus in the feces.

Lack of Appetite

The presence of intestinal parasites will make the dog less interested in food. The lack of appetite can be serious as the dog will lose weight. In addition, the dog will also be deprived of certain nutrients the parasites feed on, so he may become anemic.

The lack of appetite will be present if the dog has hookworms, roundworms or whipworms.

If the dog has tapeworms, the appetite may not be affected and he may even eat more than usual.

Skin and Coat Problems

Due to the fact that the dog doesn't get all his nutrients, you will notice that the skin will become dry and may be affected by secondary infections. The coat will also become dull and coarse.

Other Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites

You should also watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Pot bellied appearance
  • Depression
  • Lack of energy
  • Abdominal pain signaled by licking the abdominal area
  • Itchiness in the rectal area
  • Anemia
  • Flatulence

Some dogs may present no symptoms at all; it all depends on how strong the dog's immunity is. Immunocompromised dogs and puppies may show more severe symptoms.

Intestinal Parasites Treatment

The parasites are typically treated with dewormers. Each type of parasite will require a different type of dewormer.

In addition to the medication, you may also opt for a few shampoos and lotions to help the dog's dry skin.

Immune system boosters may also be administered. If the dog is anemic, the vet may prescribe some supplements. In severe cases, IV fluids may be needed.

There are drugs that may be administered periodically to dogs to prevent the infection with intestinal worms.