Does Your Dog Have Worms? Here Are 10 Symptoms To Watch Out For


Jade Poole from I Write Words


Worms are a common health problem in our precious pooches. There are a number of different types of worms that can affect your dog. Have a look at the 10 most common signs of worms in your dog…

Did you know that there are different types of worms that can affect your dog?

The common worms found in dogs in South Africa include:

  1. Roundworms
  2. Tapeworms
  3. Hookworms
  4. Whipworms

How do pets pick up worms?

There are a few ways your pet might pick up worms, these include:

  1. If your cat or dog drinks contaminated water or licks ground that is contaminated
  2. If your pet eats faeces or soil that contains worms
  3. If your pet eats rotten and raw animal material that is infested with worms
  4. Worms can also be transmitted through contaminated milk from an infected mother to unweaned puppies or kittens
  5. Pregnant mothers can transmit worms through their placenta before giving birth

Common symptoms of worms in dogs

If you are worried that your dog might have worms, then you will want to ensure you read this...

1. Vomiting

If your dog has worms, she is likely to throw up a lot. If she has roundworms, then these can show up in the vomit.

2. Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea and soft stools are often a result of worms. If your dog has hookworms, then these might be present in the stool.

3. Lack of energy

If your dog is less active than normal, then this might be a sign of worms.

4. Bloating/pot belly

If your dog looks bloated, then she might have worms. This symptom is especially common in puppies who have gotten worms from their mother.

5. Changes in appetite

Roundworms tend to cause a change in appetite. These changes are typically sudden and can cause your dog to lose her appetite. On the other hand, worms are known to steal the nutrients from your dog’s digestive system and as a result, your dog may experience a sudden increase in hunger.

6. Weight loss

Tapeworm or whipworm cause sudden weight loss in dogs.

7. Dull coat, hair loss and rashes

Healthy dogs have thick, shiny coats. If your dog's coat begins to dry out and looks dull, then this might be a sign of worms.

Hair loss and rashes on the skin are also a sign of worms.

8. Scooting on the ground (rubbing her bum on the ground)

This is one of the most obvious signs of worms, however, it can also be due to issues with the anal glands.

Dogs with worms will sometimes rub their bottoms on the floor to try and relieve the itching sensation in this area caused by the worms.

9. Skin irritations and itching

A severe case of worms will result in clear signs of skin irritation and itching.

10. Worms are visible in your dog’s poop and fur

Tapeworms are sometimes visible in small moving groups in your dog’s fur or around her bottom. Roundworms are often found in your dog’s stool.

What to do if you think your dog has worms

If you think your dog has worms, then you need to book an appointment with your vet.

If worms are left untreated they can lead to internal organ damage, which is a serious health issue and can be fatal if not treated.

Fortunately, most worms found in the intestines are easily treated by your veterinarian using medication.

How to prevent worms in pets

Luckily, if you have pet insurance with Oneplan, depending on your chosen pet healthcare plan, we include routine care benefits which include deworming costs.

Have a look at this article on our Pet Super Plan for the best routine care cover you can get. 

Routine care is an important part of ensuring your pet lives a long, healthy and happy life. However, preventive care such as this is something a number of pet parents neglect to adhere to.

It’s vital that you regularly take your dog for check-ups, vaccinations and deworming. Routine care also helps your vet to detect any serious health concerns before they become bigger (more expensive) issues.

When to deworm your pets

Deworming your pet should start by visiting your vet. Adult cats and dogs should be given a dewormer every 3 to 4 months.

Puppies and kittens need a dewormer every 3 months.

Remember to also give your family members a dewormer once every 12 months (there are special human medications to get rid of worms available over the counter). Chat to your pharmacist about the options available to you. Dewormers typically come in pill form and are easy to take. The trick is to remember to take them.

Yours in cuddle-worthy pet insurance,


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