Dog Worming

golden retriever on bed

There are a lot of factors that go into caring for your dog. Vaccinations, grooming, dental care, training, food, exercise, and of course their overall health. In amongst the health care for your dog, worming is a common subject to address. There is a good chance that your new puppy may already have worms before you even bring them home. The most common intestinal worms that affect dogs in Australia are roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm. The most common side effects your dog may experience if worms are present are:

  • Dogs that have worms will often throw up
  • Diarrhoea
  • Low energy
  • Potbellied appearance
  • Change in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dull coat

There are many ways that your dog can become infected with intestinal worms:
– Drinking contaminated water
– Contact with other infected animals
-Contact with other infected animal faeces
– From an infected nursing mother (nursing her puppies)
-Swallowing fleas carrying the infective stage of tapeworms
-Eating meat that is carrying a parasite such as a rodent.

Heartworm can be transferred from infected adult female mosquitos

How can you tell your dog has worms?

There are five different types of worms: tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, heartworm and whipworms. Unfortunately, most worms are identified by the presence of their eggs in a dog’s faeces but these eggs are very small and are difficult to identify by eye. Your dog will display different symptoms depending on what type of worm infection he has, so it’s important to recognise the signs and apply the right dog worming treatment when necessary.
Tapeworms live in the small intestine, look like flat ribbons and are made up of small segments. These segments can break off and be passed in your pet’s faeces. They can cause irritation around the anal region causing dogs to ‘scoot’ along the ground. If you suspect your dog may be suffering from tapeworm, look closely at his faeces as these small segments can be visible (they could look like grains of white rice).
Signs your dog may have tapeworms include:

  • Gradual weight loss
  • Itchy bottom
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dull coat
  • Extra licking of anal area

Most puppies are born with roundworm infections as they contract them from their nursing mothers. Dogs can also become infected by eating soil contaminated with roundworm eggs or eating other hosts such as mice or birds. Roundworms are more worm-like in appearance than some of the other types of worms. They may look like a piece of cooked spaghetti and can grow up to several inches long. Roundworms can be passed between dogs.

Signs your dog may have roundworms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • A ‘pot belly’
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness

Hookworms are similar in appearance to roundworms and attach to a dog’s intestinal lining, cutting into the lining and feeding on the blood and fluid, which could put your dog at risk of anaemia. Hookworms are picked up from the environment and passed through the faeces of infected dogs.
Signs your dog may have hookworms include:

  • Constipation
  • Dry cough
  • Dull coat
  • Weight loss
  • Stomach ache

Whipworms are one of the most common causes of diarrhoea in adult dogs and can also affect puppies too. Whipworms are bloodsucking parasites their eggs can survive in the environment for up to five years. They are picked up from the soil and passed through the faeces of infected dogs. However, these are particularly difficult to identify as they can’t be seen by the naked eye.

Signs your dog may have whipworms include:

  • Blood in faeces
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Licking of stomach area
  • Gas

Heartworm affect a dog’s heart. They are transferred to dogs by infected adult female mosquitoes. In most cases, by the time your dog displays any of the symptoms associated with heartworm, the disease has progressed to a very advanced stage. Fortunately, the infection can be picked up in routine blood tests.

Signs your dog may have heartworm include:

  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Breathing problems
  • Coughing upon exercise

 As much as you and the kids love to share your space with your new furry family member, the last thing you want to be sharing are intestinal worms. There are a number of intestinal worms that just love to live inside a dog’s tummy and unfortunately, they love just as much to live inside human tummies too. Worms can be easily transferred to other family members, including children.

Luckily for you and your pooch, common worms are readily controllable with a routine worming treatment. Puppies should be wormed every two weeks until twelve weeks of age, then monthly until six months of age. After six months all dogs need to be wormed every three months for effective protection.

Below are a few brands of worming treatments you can purchase for your pooch. Purchase according to your dogs weight.


Advocate Flea & Worm Control for Dogs up to 4kg – Single Dose
Comfortis Plus Orange for Dogs weighing 4.6-9kg


Cazitel All Wormer for dogs, one tablet treats 10kg

Sentinel Spectrum Blue for Large Dogs weighing 22-45kg

Interceptor Spectrum Green for Small Dogs weighing 4-11kg

Interceptor Spectrum Green for Small Dogs weighing 4-11kg


NexGard Spectra for Large Dogs weighing 15.1-30kgs

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