What Kinds of Internal Parasites Do Dogs Have?

While external parasites like fleas and ticks are easy to spot, intestinal parasites are difficult to detect because they live within your pet’s digestive tract and pass microscopic eggs or spores in his or her stool, which are too small to see with the naked eye. Tapeworms are an exception; they shed segments that look like sesame seeds or rice grains and can be found in your pet’s stool or near their rectum. Roundworms are another special case, as they may be discovered in your pet’s vomit or stool. On the other hand, intestinal parasites are difficult to detect, and you should take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice them.

What are the different types of internal parasites? 

Learn about common parasites in dogs and how to protect your dog by preventing and treating these dangerous pests.


Heartworms are roundworms that live in a pet’s heart. Heartworms are uncommon in the north, but animals traveling south or east may be susceptible. Heartworm care is time-consuming and expensive, and the prognosis is usually poor if untreated for an extended period.


Roundworm is the most common type of worm infestation in dogs and cats. Fortunately, except in extreme cases, they can usually be avoided and treated. Roundworms can become quite large, resulting in weight loss, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, and colic. Roundworms can and will live in human hosts if given a chance. Because roundworms can cause severe illness in humans, deworming pets is critical to lowering owner risk. Speak to your vet or visit their website to learn more about possible treatments that are suitable for your dog. 


Hookworms are blood-sucking parasites in the small intestines of cats and dogs. By sucking blood from the pet’s small intestine, they cause anemia. Hookworms can be fatal, especially in puppies and kittens, so use caution when deworming. Hookworms can infect people of all ages and cause severe illness.


Whipworms are uncommon in cats but common in dogs. Because whipworms do not grow as large as some of the more dangerous worms, they do not usually cause serious illness. Nonetheless, if left untreated, large populations can form, resulting in serious complications. Humans are more vulnerable to whipworm species than dogs and cats. Whipworms are typically treatable with deworming medications from places like St Michael Companion Animal Hospital.


The most widely known worm that causes “scooting,” or dragging a dog or cat’s bum across the ground, are tapeworms. Tapeworms are relatively common and can usually be treated with deworming medication. Because tapeworms and fleas have symbiotic life cycles, internal and external parasite prevention must be practiced concurrently. Tapeworm infection can occur if your pet comes into contact with fleas.

How to treat internal parasites?

Your veterinarian may recommend a dewormer for roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. Many dewormers are taken orally and are either prescribed by a veterinarian or purchased over the counter. Before true worm killing, heartworm treatment includes a stabilization period with steroids, heartworm preventives, and antibiotics.


Heartworm medication that the FDA has approved is injected into the dogs. Treatment typically lasts 30 to 60 days and involves three injections. Heartworm-treated dogs must be closely monitored at a vet clinic or hospital. Dogs must rest following therapy.


Big or small animal surgery may be advised in severe heartworm cases. Because heartworm treatment is extensive and costly, pet parents should ask their vet about heartworm prevention for their dog.

The Main Point

Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of common intestinal parasites should be sought from your veterinarian. Regular vet visits are essential for your dog’s health. Communicate with your veterinarian as soon as possible, and report any signs of illness.