How Long Will My Puppy Poop Worms After Deworming?
Many dogs will have a run in with worms at some point throughout their life. This is even more common in puppies, as they tend to be exposed when nursing or in the womb. So once you seek deworming treatment for your canine friend, how long will they poop worms in the days following?
In this article we will discuss the details of intestinal parasites in dogs, and help you better understand the process of deworming.
Does My Dog Have Worms?
Intestinal parasites are extremely common in our canine companions. If you think your puppy has worms, there are a few ways to get to the bottom of your concerns. First you can begin by taking a close look at your dog’s stool. While this may seem gross, it is one of the best ways to know if something is off with your dog’s digestive health. By examining your dog’s poop, you can potentially see abnormalities such as loose stool, worms, white specks, debris, and more. If you see a wiggly worm in your dog’s stool when doing this, it’s safe to say that your pup has parasites.
The most accurate way to know if your dog has worms is by taking them to the vet to have a fecal test performed. This is the only accurate way to determine exactly what parasite your dog has, and the best treatment method going forward. Fecal tests can be performed with a small sample of fresh stool, and can produce an answer instantly. If your vet chooses to send out your dog’s fecal sample, it may take up to 24 hours.
How Did My Puppy Get Worms?
Puppies can fall victim to intestinal parasites in multiple ways. Some of these parasites live in the soil just waiting for an opportunity to pounce, while others require an insect vector for infection.
Some of the most common ways a puppy gets worms includes:
- From mother to puppy, in the womb or in contact with contaminated stool
- Eating stool that is infected with parasites
- Having a current or previous flea infection
- Digging in or eating infected soil
- Living in areas with multiple animals, especially shelters
- Grooming animals with parasitic infections
What Are The Different Kinds of Worms?
We may refer to all intestinal parasites as worms, but there are many different types of intestinal invaders. Ranging from flea-borne parasites to blood sucking critters, there are multiple intestinal parasites to be aware of.
Roundworms are an intestinal parasite that your dog gets from ingesting infected stool, digging in infected soil, or even from their mothers when they are in utero. Roundworms are extremely common in puppies, and are the main culprit behind the pot-belly like appearance in infected puppies. Roundworms are known for causing severe gastrointestinal upset, and often present with diarrhea or loose stool.
Tapeworms are an intestinal parasite that a dog gets from ingesting an infected flea. Tapeworms are extremely common in the animal world, as many pets come in contact with fleas at some point. This parasite can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, but is often noticed by the sudden appearance of rice-like structures in a dog’s stool.
Hookworms are an intestinal parasite that a puppy can get from eating infected feces, digging in infected soil, or even from their mothers while in utero. These worms are one of the more dangerous parasites, as they lead to a slew of concerning symptoms. These worms can not only cause severe gastrointestinal upset, but will also stick to the intestinal lining and feed on their host’s blood. Hookworms can cause a dog to become severely anemic, requiring life saving treatment if they are left untreated for too long.
Coccidia is a protozoan that does not present in worm form, but can cause serious damage to the digestive tract. Though you won’t see any worms in your puppy’s stool, you will likely see signs of severe GI upset. Coccidia is known for causing severe diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, anorexia, hypoglycemia, and more. Coccidia can quickly get out of control, making it important to seek veterinary care from the firm sign of GI upset.
Whipworms are another intestinal parasite that you cannot see on your own in your puppy’s stool. Whipworms are generally acquired by eating infected soil, and causes severe GI upset such as diarrhea, anorexia, vomiting, weight loss, and more.
The Dangers Of Worms In Dogs
Not only are worms gross, they can cause serious complications for our canine companions. Intestinal parasites can deeply impact a dog’s digestive tract, leading to severe medical complications if left untreated. Some of the many symptoms caused by worms in dogs include:
- Loose stool
- Frequent bowel movements
- Gurgling of the stomach
- Abdominal pain
- Increased gas
- Change in appetite
- Weight loss
As we discussed above, some intestinal parasites can cause severe GI symptoms for our furry friends. If your dog is experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, anorexia, pale gums, or weakness, we suggest contacting your vet immediately. The sooner you reach out to your vet for proper worm treatment, the better chance your pup has at a full recovery.
My Dog Has White Specks in Its Poop
If your dog has white specks in their poop, there are a couple ways to help you determine if parasites are the culprit. If the white specks in your dog’s stool are moving, it’s safe to say that they likely have a parasitic infection. While the movement test is extremely helpful, it will not tell you what type of parasite your pup has acquired. If you ever see any white specks in your dog’s poop, it’s best to reach out to your veterinarian and schedule a routine fecal test.
How Does Deworming Work?
If your puppy has been diagnosed with intestinal parasites, you may begin to wonder how deworming medication works. We often hear stories about seeing worms in a dog’s stool for days after treatment, making the process seem a bit daunting. To help you better understand their treatment plan, let’s dive into the treatment options.
Your dog’s worming treatment will vary based on the type of worm that is seen on their fecal test. Some treatments will also vary from doctor to doctor, as some vets have different treatment preferences. No matter the route your pup takes, these medications usually work in a few ways.
Some medications will be offered in pill form that your pup takes once, while others will be administered in liquid form for up to 2 weeks. Tapeworms are usually the ones that warrant a one time pill, while parasites like hookworms and roundworms will require daily treatment until the worms are killed.
Some deworming medications work by paralyzing the adult worms in your dog’s GI tract, causing them to let go of the intestines and easily pass. These medications should also kill the parasite eggs in your dog’s GI tract, tackling the issue at the source.
Other deworming medications work by causing severe spasms and paralysis of the intestinal worms, often resulting in them being destroyed in the GI tract. These medications can also cause the parasites to dissolve while in the intestines.
If your dog is prescribed a deworming medication, we always suggest asking your veterinarian what to expect in the days following. This will help to prepare you for what you may see in your dog’s stool throughout the treatment process.
How Long Will My Puppy Poop Worms After Deworming?
The amount of worms that you will see in your dog’s stool will vary based on the type of parasite they have, as well as how severe their infection was. Some parasites will not shed in the stool at all, while others will remain present in the stool for days.
If your dog is shedding dead or alive worms in their stool, this should end within 3-4 days. Deworming medications usually get to work within 12 hours, and can take care of basic parasitic infections within 5 days. However, if your dog continues to poop worms in the days after their treatment has completed, we suggest reaching out to your veterinarian. Some pets require two treatments to banish their intestinal worms.
If your dog has a protozoan infection like coccidia, you will not see any worms shed in their stool. Treatment for coccidia can also last up to 14 days, as these critters can be tough to kill. These conditions usually require a follow up fecal test as well, as this will ensure that all eggs were effectively banished.
Can Worms Be Transmitted To Humans?
Yes, some intestinal parasites are zoonotic (transmissible to humans). While you should be careful when handling a dog with any parasitic infection, there are a few that require a bit of extra care and clean up.
Zoonotic intestinal parasites that are common in dogs include:
- Tapeworms (while very uncommon from dog to human)
If your dog has been diagnosed with intestinal parasites, it’s important to wash your hands after all interactions. Practice extra caution when handling any stool or vomit, and always try your best to pick up any stool in your yard to avoid soil contamination. Once your pet has completed their deworming treatment, things can get back to normal.
Deworming may sound daunting, but it is a necessary treatment for our furry friends. Be sure to review the information that we discussed above, and you can be better prepared for any intestinal parasites to come!
My name is Amber. I am a dedicated animal lover that turned my passion into my career. I am a Licensed Vet Tech with 10 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! Read more about us here.