How to identify a worm in a dog's stool

Written by lexie zirkle
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How to identify a worm in a dog's stool
If you think your dog has worms, it's important to check its stool. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Identifying worms in your dog's stool will help you decide whether or not you need to take your dog into the vet. If your dog is experiencing weight loss, vomiting, or diarrhoea, it's a good idea to check its stool for worms. This is imperative, because humans can become infected by the same worms that infect dogs. Some worm types are visible in the dog's stool, though others require you to take a stool specimen into your vet for examination. There are five types of worms that can infect dogs: tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, heartworms and whipworms.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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    Worms You Can See in Dog Feces

  1. 1

    Look for white segments of worms that look a little like grains of rice; these are tapeworms. They commonly affect dogs, as they are communicated by infected fleas. You might even see them around your dog's anus or anywhere on your dog's fur.

  2. 2

    Check for worms in your dog's stool that resemble spaghetti noodles; these are roundworms and can be as long as 6 inches. If your dog is vomiting and has a swollen belly and weight loss, it most likely has roundworms.

  3. 3

    Take your dog to the vet as soon as you can if you've identified tapeworms or roundworms.

    Worms You Can't See in Feces

  1. 1

    Identify if your dog is experiencing weight loss, diarrhoea, flatulence, anaemia, fatigue, a swollen belly, and/or coughing. Hookworms, whipworms, and heartworms are invisible to the naked eye. However, the above symptoms indicate that your dog has one of these types of worms. In this case, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

  2. 2

    Collect a fresh sample of your dog's faeces and store it in a plastic bag.

  3. 3

    Take the sample into your veterinarian and ask for an examination for worms. Bring your dog in with you just in case your veterinarian wants to perform a more thorough exam.

Tips and warnings

  • If your dog scoots its bottom across the floor, it's usually an indication that it has worms or that it has a problem with its anal sacs, which are scent glands that sit near the anus. In this case, call your veterinarian to schedule an appointment.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and anything else that comes in contact with your dog, as humans can become infected.

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