Can Dogs Throw Up Worms?
There is nothing worse than finding a pile of dog vomit in your home that contains wiggly worms.
This is understandably very shocking for dog owners, causing them to wonder how these worms made their way into their beloved pup’s stomach.
So are these critters actually worms, and why did my dog just vomit them up?
Let’s discuss the details of intestinal parasites in our furry friends, and help you better understand why your dog is vomiting up worms.
What Are Worms In Dogs?
Intestinal parasites, or worms in dogs, are parasites that live and reproduce within the intestinal tract.
These worms will spend their days living and maturing within the intestines or stomach, leading to an array of uncomfortable GI symptoms for the dog affected.
Dogs can get these worms from eating infected soil, digging in infected soil, nursing on an infected mother, and even when they are infested with fleas.
There are many different forms of worms that our dogs and puppies can acquire, each of which you will want to banish for good.
Different Types Of Worms In Dogs And Puppies
As we mentioned above, there are multiple types of intestinal parasites that our dogs can become infected with.
Each of these worms can be found in the soil or water around your home, so it’s important to be aware of them.
The most common types of worms seen in dogs include:
Roundworms are one of the most common worms seen in vomit.
Your pup can get these worms from digging in infected soil, eating infected soil, eating infected stool, and even from being in the womb of an infected mother.
These are extremely common in puppies and younger dogs, and are known for causing the pot-bellied appearance we see in infected pups.
These worms can cause vomiting in dogs, as well as diarrhea and flatulence.
Tapeworms in dogs are intestinal parasites that our canine friends get after ingesting an infected flea.
They are known for causing the presence of rice-like worms in a dog’s poop, but they can cause other GI symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.
Hookworms in dogs are an intestinal parasite that not only cling to a dog’s digestive tract, but they even suck blood from the vessels in these areas.
Dogs can get hookworms from eating infected stool, digging in infected soil, eating infected soil, and even from their mothers in utero.
While these worms can cause the standard GI upset that other worms do, they are considered more dangerous due to their blood sucking abilities.
Because of this, they can cause life-threatening anemia, also known as hookworm anemia.
Whipworms in dogs are an intestinal parasite that you will not be able to see in your dog’s stool or vomit, but the GI symptoms they cause are just as real.
Dogs can get them by eating infected stool, digging in infected soil, and eating infected soil.
Coccidia is another intestinal parasite that you will not see in your dog’s stool or vomit.
Coccidia is actually a protozoan parasite that is known to cause extensive damage to the GI tract, and it is known for causing sudden illness and death in puppies.
These parasites often cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, hypoglycemia, and anorexia.
Can Dogs Throw Up Worms?
Though it may seem disgusting, our dogs certainly can throw up worms.
This typically only occurs in dogs with a severe intestinal parasite load, as this is a result of parasites backing up in the intestines and moving to the stomach.
If a dog’s intestines are overflowing with worms, this can certainly lead to increased risk of nausea.
If the worms do cause a dog to vomit, you may see live or dead worms in the vomit itself.
What Are The Other Symptoms Of Worms In Dogs?
While vomiting is a common symptom of intestinal parasites in dogs, there are other symptoms to be on the lookout for as well.
Some of the most common symptoms of worms in our canine friends include:
- Decreased appetite or anorexia
- Loose stool
- Bloody diarrhea
- Increased bowel movements
- Abdominal pain
- Increased gas
- Stomach gurgling
- Weight loss
If you think your dog is experiencing any of the above symptoms, we suggest having them seen by your veterinarian.
These symptoms can also occur with other medical conditions, so it’s best to seek veterinary guidance to rule out other conditions as well.
What Do Worms In Dog Vomit Look Like?
Hopefully, not many people have had to see intestinal parasites with their own eyes.
Because of this, many dog owners are unaware of what worms can look like.
Though the common worm types can vary in appearance, the ones you see in vomit will typically be at least a few inches long and almost beige in color.
The worms are often coiled up within their vomit, but some will move around throughout the vomit material.
If you think you see worms in your dog’s vomit you can either collect a sample of the vomit to show your vet, or you can take a picture of the vomit with your phone.
This will help your vet diagnose your pup accordingly.
Are The Worms In My Dog’s Vomit Alive Or Dead?
If you ever find worms in your dog’s vomit, you may be curious as to whether or not they are alive or dead.
If your dog has such a severe intestinal parasite load that they are present in their vomit, they are likely alive at the time of their vomiting.
The only way to know is by examining the worms for any sign of movement.
While having live worms in their vomit will certainly make the situation more gross, it does not mean their diagnosis is any more serious.
Your vet will still treat their intestinal parasites as they would any other worm case in dogs.
Your dog may just require extra days of treatment due to how burdened they are with worms.
If My Dog Has Worms, Will I Always See Them In Their Poop Or Vomit?
While many unlucky owners will see intestinal parasites in their dog’s stool or vomit, it is not always the case.
The lack of worms in your dog’s poop or vomit does not mean your dog is worm free, but could simply mean they do not have a high worm burden.
This could also mean they are not currently passing adult worms, but they may still have immature worms wreaking havoc on their intestines.
This is why it is so important to deworm your dog on the recommended schedule from your veterinarian, as well as keeping up with their monthly heartworm medication.
Heartworm medications contain small amounts of deworming medication, so this will protect your pup against any parasites they come in contact with.
How To Know If My Dog Has Worms
Diagnosing worms in your dog is extremely easy with the help of your veterinarian.
You simply need to bring in a fresh stool sample to your vet’s office, or allow them to obtain a stool sample from your dog.
The veterinary team will examine this stool sample under a microscope, and search for the presence of intestinal parasite eggs.
If they find any parasites on the slide, your vet will prescribe their dewormer of choice.
Most vet’s can run a fecal test in their office, but some will send the sample off to a lab.
Even if they do send their samples off, you will have the results within 48 hours at most.
Treatment For Worms In Dogs
Just as it is easy to diagnose intestinal parasites in dogs, it is typically easy to treat them as well.
As long as your vet is aware of the specific worm your dog is infected with, they can offer them the proper medication to banish them for good.
They may take these medications anywhere from one time to once daily for 10 days, but this will vary based on the type of parasite they have, as well as how severe their worm burden is.
No matter what, each type of worm is typically treated effectively.
If your dog has a large amount of eggs seen on the microscope, your vet may suggest testing their stool again in 10-14 days.
If your dog still has intact eggs in their stool, they may prescribe another round of deworming medication.
How Long Will My Dog Vomit Worms After Treatment?
If your dog has enough intestinal parasites that they were vomiting them up, it may take up to 72 hours to stop seeing any worms in their vomit or stool.
However, these worms will likely be dead as you see them over the next few days, as the medication will get to work within 12 hours of their first dose.
Keep in mind that you may also see more worms than ever before, as the worms will begin to let go of the intestinal wall as they die.
It may be startling, but just know that your pup is on the way to being parasite free.
Can You Prevent Worms In Dogs?
As you can see, intestinal parasites can lead to an array of uncomfortable GI symptoms for our beloved companions.
Due to this, it’s important to prevent these tiny invaders from infecting our pups.
Intestinal worms in dogs can be easily prevented by deworming them thoroughly from the moment you adopt or purchase them, as well as offering them monthly heartworm prevention.
Some vets will also recommend performing a fecal test once a year just in case, and some may even suggest deworming at risk pups a few times a year.
Final Thoughts On Dogs Vomiting Worms
If a dog has a heavy burden of intestinal parasites, you may see the occasional worm in their vomit or poop.
If you do see any wiggling critters in your dog’s vomit or stool, be sure to have them seen by your veterinarian.
Intestinal parasites can cause significant GI upset for our canine friends, so it’s always best to have them treated as soon as possible.
My name is Amber. I am a dedicated animal lover that turned my passion into my career. I am a Licensed Vet Tech with 12 years of experience in veterinary medicine, but I recently took my career online to help spread accurate information on animal care. With how vast the online world is, I have a strong desire to ensure that the reader always walks away with helpful pet advice. With the experience I’ve gained from my time in this field, I have been able to travel the world, offering my services to as many animal rescues as I can find. If I am not at my laptop, or back home visiting family, you can find me somewhere in the world, cuddling every furry friend that I can find! More About Us