Intestinal parasites in dogs: how to detect and prevent them


Parasites They are a topic that worries all of us who have pets at some point. The most important thing is to keep them protected with the appropriate treatments, but even so, on some occasions they can become infected with some of them, whether external (ticks and fleas are the most frequent in dogs) or internal, which They can cause serious damage to your digestive system. How to know if my dog ​​has parasites? Sometimes it is not easy to realize, we tell you how to do it.

How to know if my dog ​​has external parasites

External parasites are considered to be those that occupy any outside place in the dog's body, those that inhabit its fur and attack from outside. This attack may be different depending on the type of parasite: Ticks, fleas, bed bugs or mosquitoes, for example, they bite to feed on the dog's blood, there is a risk in addition to transmitting diseases with that sting. Others, such as the mite that produces scabies, do not bite but can cause serious damage to the skin of the animal.

Like these parasites, The symptoms of infection are also external. Even if you protect your dog against them, we recommend that you frequently check the condition of your dog's skin and hair for these parasites, especially if it has contact with vegetated areas.

The most typical symptoms of external parasites in dogs are topical problems, such as peeling, irritation, redness, hives or scabs, in addition to that you can find the parasite itself hooked to its body.

How to know if my dog ​​has internal parasites

This is a bit more complicated, since being inside the dog, internal parasites go unnoticed more easily if we do not pay specific attention. There are many types of internal parasites, but the most frequent in dogs are those of the worm type, both flat and round. They usually choose their intestines, lungs, kidneys, heart and muscles to stay and feed on their nutrients.

If the parasites are inside the dog, then how does contagion occur? As usual, these parasites or their eggs leave the dog's body in the feces, so they can be transmitted to other dogs that approach. It is not even necessary to ingest them, sometimes it is enough that they approach and smell them. Because, Never let your dog get close to other dogs' feces, and more importantly, always collect their poops! In addition to being a civic obligation, it is essential to reduce the risk of contagion of parasites and many diseases among dogs. Hygiene translates into health for all.

How to know if my dog ​​has parasites inside his body?

The most common symptoms are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea, sometimes with blood
  • In case the parasites have infested the respiratory system, you will have a cough
  • Much appetite, more than normal
  • Despite eating more, they inexplicably lose weight
  • Decay and lack of energy
  • Visible loss of health in the coat: does not shine, is weak and breaks or falls
  • Shows discomfort in the anus: licks, drags or scratches a lot
  • Sometimes eczema on the skin
  • Abnormal stools, less consistent and with white dots
  • Bulging belly
  • Anemia
  • Fertility disorders

As you can see, many of these symptoms are general and typical of other diseases, so To know if your dog has internal parasites, you should observe its feces.

Remember that it is essential Deworm your pet internally and externally with adequate frequency to ensure good protection. Also, if you suspect that you could have contracted a parasite, you should go to the veterinarian as soon as possible, without a treatment it could be really dangerous. On the other hand, keep in mind that some of them, such as ticks, fleas, mites or tapeworms are transmissible to humans. Great care!

Prevention of intestinal parasites in dogs

Intestinal parasites can be avery serious problem, since they can cause the death of our dog, especially when they affect puppies. However, many of the parasites can be easily detected and there are numerous forms of prevention:

  • The easiest way to avoid intestinal parasites is to give your dog a dose of intestinal antiparasitics according to the veterinarian's recommendation. In puppies it is suggested that they be administered once a month.
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Dogs with intestinal parasites develop symptoms that can be detected at home. When the infestation is at an early stage, the first thing that appears is itching. Therefore, you will see that your dog creeps sitting scratching his anus. The area will also bite insistently because, when the worms spread, they cause discomfort.

When the infestation is advanced, worms can leave your dog's body through feces, so you can see at a glance. However, eggs are not so easy to detect, hence the importance of ensuring that your pet does not come into contact with feces.

Also the dog will lose weight quickly, because the parasites feed on the nutrients that your pet ingests. This can be a bit misleading, because sometimes worms generate gases that cause abdominal swelling, so the dog will look normal.

However, when you look closely You can see the ribs and the hip bones through the fur. In extreme cases damage to the intestines can occur, so bleeding may appear in the stool. In case you notice any of these symptoms, it is best to take your dog to the veterinarian before giving any medication.


Intestinal parasites in dogs, once diagnosed, they are treated with intestinal antiparasitic. There are multiple kinds of parasites that attack different parts of your pet's organism, so it is important that the specific antiparasitic be applied to the affected area.

On some occasions, treatment should be repeated, especially if the infestation is widespread. It is very important that this is always done under veterinarian supervision and not on your own.

For example, some owners often supply laxatives to pets to expel parasites, thereby destroying bacterial flora in their intestines.

Your health is your health

Parasites are very difficult to control, because are adapted to survive in different organisms, including yours. You should take special precautions when you detect that your dog has parasites, as they can infest you too.

Sometimes, parasites can reach your body by breaking the skin, for example, when you walk barefoot. If you have babies at home you should have special attention, as this can cause fatal problems for them.

If you detect that your dog is infested the most prudent thing is that you visit the doctor, because parasites can cause the appearance of other secondary diseases, which will require, as in the case of your pet, medical treatment.

Types of parasites

They are the easiest to identify by being very visible. The most common are the fleas, the ticks and the Mites, which feed on the animal's blood and can cause various diseases, such as scabies, lyme disease or dermatitis.

How to know if my dog ​​has external parasites? Very easy: seeing the insect itself or, much more frequent, observing that the animal scratches a lot. Sometimes, so much it itches, you may end up getting an occasional wound.

To prevent and / or combat them it is important that you put pipettes, collars or sprays antiparasitic In spring and summer.

We usually call these worms, which reside in the internal organs of the dog and can cause more than one problem. There are many types, the most common being round and flat worms.

  • Round: they lodge mainly in the intestines, but they can also be in the respiratory system. They are long and round, and are transmitted through feces, or breast milk if the mother is not dewormed.
  • Blueprints: they lodge in the small intestine, gallbladder, liver, mesenteric veins or in the hepatic pathways. They are often transmitted by flea bites, but also by feces.

How to know that my dog ​​has internal parasites?

The symptom The most frequent are the following:

  • Stomach swollen
  • Scratch and / or lick your anus frequently
  • Weightloss
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dull coat
  • Apathy
  • Increased appetite
  • Respiratory problems

If your dog has one or more of these symptoms, do not hesitate to take him to the veterinarian.

Parasites must be kept away from our friends. Only in this way can we make sure that they will not end up getting any serious illness.


Find the validation of El Cazamentiras at the end of the news.

WEATHER and the specialists of the Small Animal Clinic of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics of the National University of Colombia join us to talk to Colombians about the care they should have with pets.

On this occasion the expert Ángela Bermudez will respond to the concern: Is it true that if dogs restrict their tail in the grass, after defecating, it is because they have worms?

This is what the expert explains:

It is very common to assume that when a dog drags its tail on the ground or grass it has parasites, for this reason many owners go to the clinic looking for an antiparasitic medicine.

While gastrointestinal parasites may be associated with perianal pruritus or perianal itching, This may be related to other medical conditions, and it is important to identify the true origin Of the trouble.

Some of the common causes are:

• Allergic reactions of environmental and / or food type.
• Discomfort or injury to the anal sacs such as infection, impaction, inflammation, fistulas or tumors.
• As a consequence of a local irritative process, due to the presence of rectal foreign bodies, diarrhea or colitis (inflammation of the colon).

It should be borne in mind that Parasitic agents may be the cause of these last two conditions, in which case the myth becomes valid. However, a correct diagnostic process must be done to determine whether there are parasites or not.

If a pet exhibits this behavior, the veterinarian should be consulted who - through a complete physical exam and some laboratory tests - will determine the true cause of the stinging and can make the necessary recommendations.

Small Animal Clinic
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics

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