What intestinal
worms could my
dog have?

intestinal worms in dogs

Common intestinal worms in dogs in Australia include roundworms, hookworms and whipworms.


Roundworms are common in puppies as they acquire them from their mother. Puppies with roundworms may have a bloated belly (pot-belly) and occasionally worms may be passed in the pup’s stool or vomit.


Hookworms are thin, small worms that attach to the intestinal wall. They are not always visible to the naked eye and their eggs in the faeces can only be detected by microscopic examination. Hookworms can cause bleeding in the dog’s bowel and result in anaemia.


Whipworms are thin, thread like worms that live in the large intestine. Adults may be visible to the naked eye, but as faeces does not contain many worm eggs, they can be difficult to detect. A microscopic examination of several faecal samples may be necessary to detect them.


The most common tapeworm in dogs in Australia is the ‘flea tapeworm’. Fleas carry the tapeworm larvae, so if your dog ingests an infested flea during grooming the adult tapeworm can develop in the dog’s intestine. Tapeworm segments passed in the faeces of infested dogs look like small white grains of rice. Effective flea control with NexGard® or NexGard SPECTRA® prevents flea tapeworm infestations in your dog.


Another tapeworm that can infest dogs in Australia is the hydatid tapeworm. Although relatively rare, this worm is an important one to be aware of as dogs may transmit this worm to humans, where it can result in serious disease. Rural dogs are at the greatest risk of infestation as dogs become infested by eating raw offal or scavenging on infested sheep or native animal carcasses. Treatment with ParaGard helps control intestinal worms including hydatid tapeworms in dogs.

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