well-checks at the vet for your pet

« Back to Home

5 Parasites That Might Be Infecting Your Dog

Posted on

When a parasite infects your dog, you have good reasons to be worried. A parasite infection can cause a litany of problems for your dog and by extension, you. There's nothing worse than worrying yourself sick over a problem with your beloved pet. There are a number of parasites that can infect your dog, and you should know what they are and the symptoms your dog will exhibit if infected.


Although this is a common form of parasite among cattle, it is quite uncommon for dogs to contract cryptosporidium. This prevalence of this parasite in dogs that have a home and are well cared for is only 2%, although stray dogs tend to have much higher incidence of the parasite.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite that usually infects dogs when they are very young puppies. It rests and reproduces in the small intestine. It can reproduce at a very large rate, causing fever and bowel problems for young pups. It is a notoriously difficult parasite to get rid of. A medicine known as paromomycin can route the parasite, but it is quite toxic to the kidneys.


Strongyloides is a parasite commonly known as threadworms, due to the fact that they can easily enter the skin, tearing through it like a thread and needle. Strongyloides tend to rest in the intestine of the host and lay eggs in the fecal matter, which can then easily spread to other hosts.

Although strongyloides are commonly found in cats, they can also be found in dogs as well. Luckily, strongyloides tend to only cause mild diarrhea in canines and the parasite can be easily treated with a drug known as thiabendazole.


Whipworms are a fairly common form of parasite and can, unfortunately, be very dangerous to your dog's health. Whipworms are another type of parasite that tends to nest in the intestine of the host and is usually contracted by the consumption of infected material.

Sadly, whipworms can live almost anywhere: in dirt, water, food, etc. so their appearance in a dog's body is quite common. They can cause bloody diarrhea and severe weight loss in dogs. If left untreated, whipworms can be potentially fatal. Luckily, whipworms can be easily treated. As part of outpatient therapy, your veterinarian will prescribe the proper medication for your animal.


Coccidia is one cell organism that affects very young pups. Often times, at birth, puppies will be forced to swallow a bit of their mothers feces while coming out of the womb. If any of the feces has any residue from cysts or other open wounds from the mother, there is a good chance that it is infected with coccidia.

Coccidia can multiply in great numbers in a puppy's intestine, as they have no immunity for it. It usually causes frequent diarrhea and can eventually lead to some serious health complications. It can often be treated by various drugs, such as Albon, per your vet's recommendation.


Giardia is another common form of intestinal parasite; like coccidia it is a one celled organism. Many dogs contract this parasite when they swallow the cyst stage of this parasite's development.

Although many pets suffer from diarrhea or vomiting when they contract giardia, some pets actually exhibit no symptoms at all until they become quite ill. Treatment for giardia is, thankfully, quite easy. It is best to click here to find out more or visit your vet if you see your pet exhibit signs of a giardia infection. Typically, the treatment involves ingesting an oral pill known as metronidazole, which should clear up the infestation within seven to ten days.

Knowing your pet is exposed to a parasite is a trying time, but hopefully after reading this article, you've learned how to begin to address the issue.