Can Dogs Die From Worms?

Can Dogs Die From Worms? Yes. Dogs with intestinal worms/parasites can suffer symptoms that include; dehydration, diarrhea, coughing and inflammation/swelling of the intestine area. Weight loss is also common in adult dogs. In worst case scenarios, the parasites can be life threatening. 


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Can Worms Kill A Dog?


The thought of worms or parasites eating the inside of your dog’s intestine isn’t a pleasant one, but it has some consequences and harmful effects that you should be aware of. These include weight loss, extreme diarrhea and vomiting, nautiousness and in some severe cases it can be fatal. 
Thankfully it is super easy to prevent these horrible parasites from entering your dogs’ body with easy to follow worm treatments. Read on to find out more about the best treatments, symptoms and other worming information. 

Symptoms Of Worms In Dogs

> Coughing
> Diarrhea 
> Vomiting
> Nautiousness/Dizzy 
> Rapid Weight Loss
> Decreased Appetite


What Worms Do Dogs Get?


These parasites also known as Toxocara Canis in dogs are extremely common and a large percentage of dogs suffer from these at some point in their lives, normally during puppyhood. These white/light brown looking worms tend to be a few inches long and live off the bacteria inside the dogs’ small intestine. Roundworms can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain/swelling. 
Hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum) can be severely dangerous to your dogs. Just like roundworms, they live inside your dogs’ intestine. The hookworm attaches itself to the lining of the intestine and feeds off the blood. The worm eggs are released into the environment through your dogs’ faeces. If your dog has hookworms you may notice symptoms such as; weight loss or difficulties gaining weight, lack of appetite, diarrhea, bloody stools or anemia (gums go pale, extreme weakness). 
Also known as Trichuris vulpis, Whipworms can cause your dog to have the same symptoms as roundworms. These species of worm are smaller than the others and are passed on to dogs when they digest any infected matter. Once they infect a dog, they home themselves inside the large intestine. Unlike other worms, the whipworm rarely passes through your dog's faeces, therefore diagnosing whipworms can be fairly difficult. 
If you notice your dog trying to scrape their bottom along the floor, this is a symptom of Tapeworms. Your dog may also be suffering from diarrhea, weight loss and even their fur may become patchy. The most common type of tapeworm is a flea tapeworm. These worms are spread when your dog digests fleas that have eaten the eggs of a tapeworm. 


How To Treats Worms In Dogs?


Unfortunately if your dog does get worms, the treatment plan can be far more complex and expensive than actually preventing worms in the first place. However, a simple tablet prescribed by your vet may do the trick and help to remove those little creatures for good. If the parasites cause internal damage further treatment may be necessary. 
Heartworm in dogs can have serious implications. It causes the major organs in your dogs’ body to shut down, unless picked up and treated your dog will unfortunately pass away. Thankfully, diagnosing this disease early on helps to cure your dog. This treatment process involves your dog being put on a strict exercise and diet regime as well as being prescribed a strong antibiotic once a month which kills off the infection.  
Thankfully heartworm prevention tablets are available to stop these critters getting inside your dogs’ intestines. The once-a-month chewable tablet is regularly available from your local vets for a small fee. Drontal & Frontline are the most recognised brands with fantastic reviews. As well as the once-a-month tablet, there are other precautionary measures you can take to minimize the risk of your dog getting worms, these include; 
> Ensure your dog does not come into contact with other animal faeces 
> Ensure ALL pets are treated for worms in your household
> Ensure your back and front yard is faece free
> Seek help and advice from your Vet - after all that is what they’re there for!


Can Dogs Pass Worms To Humans?


In short, yes. Dogs can pass worms onto humans but it’s quite complex. Read further to find out how and why this happens. 
Roundworms can also cause harm to humans as well as dogs. These worms eggs are excreted in a dogs’ poop. After 2 weeks of being in the natural environment, the worms can become infectious to humans. If these are accidentally ingested, they can begin living inside the human body and cause a lot of harm. Loss of eyesight and extreme coughing are an example of how serious this could be. Children are at greater risk as they’re more likely to come into contact with the dirt and they pay less attention to hygiene.
Hookworms can also be passed from dogs to humans. These parasites enter the body directly through the skin. As gross as it sounds, they literally eat their way through, leaving the area red and swollen. 


How Long Does It Take For Dogs To Get Rid of Worms?


Worms are so common in puppies as they are usually passed on to them by their mothers milk. Vets normally recommend deworming a pup when they’re aged 2-3 weeks old. Sometimes the worming treatment can take more than one dose to kill off the parasites. In adult dogs, after receiving their first dose of treatment, the worms will begin to be paralysed and broken down after 2-3 weeks. A further 1 or 2 more lots of treatment may be required to completely eradicate the parasites.  



Can I get worms from my dog licking me?
Thankfully, most of the parasites that affect dogs can’t be passed on to us. However, hookworms, roundworms and even salmonella can be transferred from a dog to a human by the lick of their tongue.
Does apple cider vinegar kill worms in dogs?
It can do, yes. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) raises the alkaline levels inside a dog's intestine, making it almost impossible for parasites to feed and live. They’re also other health benefits to ACV, such as; an improvement in your dogs’ coat. 
Does coconut oil kill worms in dogs?
Yes it can. It will help to kill off any tapeworms or other parasites that may be living inside of your dog's intestine. However, it is always recommended to seek expert advice from your local vet before taking matters into your own hands. 



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Disclaimer: Each dog is different, and every circumstance is different. All efforts have been made to provide accurate information. However, it is not provided by a qualified Veterinarian, Veterinarian Surgeon, or Behaviorist. The information provided is purely educational. The information should not be used as an alternative or substitute for medical care. If you have any health or medical concerns, contact a qualified Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinarian immediately.



  • Thank you for the information! It was helpful. My daughter is a private breeder for pure bread Siberian Huskies. She had just had a litter of 9 puppies. Momma was doing fine until she looked as though she was loosing weight then she stopped eating and drinking. She also started to get very Lethargic. Unfortunately, beautiful Reina died in her sleep. The puppies were just off the mom for nursing This should of never happened and could of been a simple fix. Please please, at least do the very basic thing to help your dog, take it to the vet. If you can’ not afford taking your pet to the vet please consider not owning any. This is one of the most irresponsible thing anyone can ever do to an animal.

  • Hi Aadya,

    We would recommend contacting a veterinarian if you think the case of worms could be life-threatening.

    ACV can help in some cases as it raises the alkaline level in the intestines. However, we advise you to seek medical assistance as it sounds severe.

    We hope everything goes ok with the veterinarian.

    Jess @ Wild Barkers

    Jess @ Wild Barkers
  • What should I so at home if my dog is dying of worms? And, will Apple cider vinegar help him stay alive?


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