Worms are one of the more unpleasant aspects of owning a dog. Seeing your dog rubbing its behind on the floor isn’t only gross but sad. Worms cause both stomach discomfort and itchiness, which can irritate your dog.
Puppies are the most at risk for contracting worms. Many pet owners wonder how long will my puppy poop worms after deworming. So, let’s jump into worms, deworming, and the question of pooping.
Deworming—What is it and Why is it Important?
Most worms infect a dog’s digestive system, mainly the colon. Some species, such as heartworm, impact the circulatory system, including the heart. Deworming refers to the removal of digestive worms through the use of medication.
The medication comes in pill form or as an injection. To deworm a puppy, you must give your dog the exact dosage of deworming medication the veterinarian recommends. Deviating from the required number of pills or timing can cause the worms to return.
Deworming is important because worms cause a whole host of trouble for any dog. Puppies, in particular, are at risk of developing complications. Some of the symptoms include:
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Weight loss
- Stomach pain
- Poor coat
- Swollen abdomen
- Blood in their poop
- Nutrient deficiencies
Types of Worms That Affect Puppies
There are four common worm types that affect a puppy’s digestive tract. They are roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms.
Two types of roundworms infect dogs—Toxocara canis (T. canis) and Toxascaris leonina. Although dogs can get either type of worm, T. canis is much more common in puppies, and they can transmit it to humans.
Roundworms can infect puppies through their mother’s milk or while still in utero. Other ways puppies get infected are by consuming roundworm eggs, which they can find in dirt, other dogs, dead animals, or fecal matter.
People often say roundworms look like spaghetti that moves. They can grow up to a few inches long. Their eggs are generally white, round, and smooth.
Puppies can only contract tapeworm from infected fleas. When an infected flea gets eaten by a puppy, the tapeworm eggs infect the dog. Tapeworms can cause serious health issues in puppies, such as stunting their growth.
Tapeworms are long, flat creatures with segmented bodies. They can grow up to 12 inches long in dogs. Each segment of the body can detach when it dies. These pieces get pooped out and are often the first sign your dog has a tapeworm.
Hookworms get their name from their small, hook-shaped mouths. They are tiny, measuring only a quarter of an inch long. They can be almost impossible to notice. Hookworms consume a lot of blood in the intestine, which can cause anemia.
Puppies will contract hookworm from eating something infected with worms. That will happen either through their mother’s milk, or in utero. The most common signs of hookworm are abdominal pain, lethargy, and in severe cases, anemia.
Whipworms are another small worm, measuring a quarter of an inch in length. Dogs contract whipworm by eating infected poop or other substances. Whipworm eggs are extremely hardy, illustrated by their ability to survive on surfaces for up to five years!
Whipworm eggs are microscopic, so it’s almost impossible to know if a surface is infected. Chronic diarrhea is the most common sign of a whipworm infection, along with lethargy and abdominal pain.
How Long Will My Puppy Poop Worms After Deworming?
Puppies will generally continue pooping worms for a week after a deworming treatment. In rare cases, it can take up to two weeks to stop seeing worms in their poop.
If the treatment is working, the worms your puppy deposits in their stool should be dead. Dead worms are less white and more translucent than ones that are alive.
Deworming treatments generally begin working about 12 hours after you give them the deworming treatment.
How Often is Deworming Necessary?
If you got your puppy from a reputable breeder or rescue, they should’ve already had their first deworming treatment. Most veterinarians recommend asking the breeder when they had a deworming treatment so you know the exact date.
After their first deworming, you should deworm your puppy every four weeks until they reach at least four months old. Younger puppies are more susceptible to worm infections. A puppy may have three or four worm infections in the first few months of their life.
Once your puppy reaches four months old, veterinarians recommend reducing deworming treatments to twice a year. By doing so, you can prevent your adult dog from experiencing the pain and discomfort caused by worms.
Deworming Side Effects
Although deworming is a safe and effective means of killing the worms infecting your puppy, it does come with some side effects. Here are the most common side effects associated with deworming medication.
Diarrhea, Vomiting, or Nausea
These three symptoms often occur together. Deworming medication can upset your dog’s digestive system by itself or because of its effects on the worms. If these symptoms are severe, stop treatment and take your puppy to a vet.
As the worms leave your puppy’s intestines, they can cause micro-tears in the intestine. Worms latch onto the dog’s intestine, and when they let go, they leave a tiny cut. These can bleed, causing your puppy to have red or bloody poop.
Although this can be frightening, it’s completely normal. The worms need to detach from your puppy, and this is the natural result of that. If you think there’s too much blood in their stool, take your dog to the vet immediately to ensure they’re safe.
Final Thoughts On Deworming
Worms are a nightmare for pet owners. In the end, the best way to get rid of them is to use a deworming agent recommended by your vet. And although many pet owners may wonder how long will my puppy poop worms after deworming, it isn’t that important.
What’s more is clearing out the worm infection so your puppy can lead a happy, healthy life. So, if you’re thinking about getting a puppy, don’t forget about the dewormer!