Q:

Why could there be worms in dog feces?

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Quick Answer

Worms in a dog’s feces indicate the presence of intestinal worms. Dogs are prone to contracting several types of worms, but only roundworms and tapeworms are usually visible in the stool. A stool sample delivered to a veterinarian can yield an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

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Full Answer

The most common worms in dogs are roundworms, which the dog contracts by eating contaminated animals, soil or feces containing roundworm eggs. Adult roundworms grow to become several inches long and are light brown or white in color. Left untreated, roundworms can grow in number and cause a blockage in the dog’s intestines. Immature worms, or larvae, may travel to the dog’s lungs and cause verminous pneumonia, characterized by the dog coughing.

Segments of tapeworms sometimes show up in the dog’s feces or on the dog’s anus. These segments are flat, white in color and short, usually measuring from a quarter- to half-inch in length. Dead tapeworms segments are golden yellow in color and shaped like grains of rice.

Dogs with worm infestations may exhibit additional signs that point to the presence of intestinal worms. The dog may lose weight, develop a generally poor appearance and pot belly, and have diarrhea with or without the presence of blood. Some dogs may vomit, which may also contain worms.

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