Intestinal Parasites - Dog


Roundworms (ascarids) are intestinal parasites that are common in dogs. Roundworms are round, can be up to seven inches long and are white or light brown. that live freely in the intestine, soaking up nutrients.

How can my dog get roundworms?

  • Puppies can be infected with larvae while still in their mother's uterus
  • Puppies can ingest larvae through ingesting eggs (drinking the milk from an infected mom
  • Eatings rodents that have been infected with the larvae


The following are common symptoms and signs:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Diarrhea (abnormal feces)
  • Anorexia
  • Poor nursing
  • Abdominal Swelling (distension)
  • Coughing
  • Dull hair

How can I prevent my dog from becoming infected?

  • It is important to keep the environment clean, remove feces, and try to prevent from eating wild animals that may have the infection.
  • Use a monthly parasite prevention program
  • Annual fecal exams

Can you get Roundworms from your pet? YES!

Roundworms do pose a risk to humans. Humans can become infected by coming in contact with contaminated soil or dog feces and ingesting. Roundworms can cause eye, lung, heart and neurologic signs in people.

It is very important to repeat fecal exams to make sure all roundworms including the larvae, were eliminated from your dog's body.


Hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum) are intestinal parasites that live in the digestive system. They are about 1/8" long and are difficult to see with the naked eye. They are known for their hook-like mouthparts. They ingest large amounts of bloodfrom the intestinal wall. 

How can my dog get Hookworms?

  • Direct ingestion of larvae in infected soil or water
  • Penetration of larvae through the skin, usually foot pads.
  • Ingestion of an intermediate host (mouse, rodent)
  • Migration of larvae through the placenta in dogs
  • Feeding on mother's milk containing larvae
  • Migration of larvae through the blood, into the lungs, where they may cough them up and then swallow them into the intestine.


  • Anemia
  • Pale gums, pale tongue
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Bloody diarrhea

How are Hookworms diagnosed?

  • Fecal Flotation

How can I prevent my dog from getting Hookworms

  • Testing female dogs for parasites prior to breeding
  • Good sanitation especially in kennels
  • Keeping your pet on a parasite prevention program with routine dewormings
  • Annual fecal tests
  • Control of rodents

Treatment for Hookworms

  • Deworming treatment and the repeat in 1-2 weeks after first treatment
  • Follow up fecal exam 


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