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Dr. Diane
Dr. Diane, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 234
Experience:  Regional. 20 years experience small animal practice and emergency medicine.
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I found a couple of light pink worms on my dogs rectum this

Customer Question

I found a couple of light pink worms on my dogs rectum this morning. They are about a half inch long. She has been scratching her but on the rug for about a week now. My neighbors dog is doing the same and they spend alot of time together. What do you think we're dealing with and what should we do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Diane replied 7 years ago.

Usually worms crawling on a dog's rectum are tapeworms:


These are flat segmented worms that often looks like pieces of rice. There are two types of tapeworms. dipylidium caninum, which dogs get from ingesting fleas and Taenia tapeworms which dogs get from ingesting dead rabbits or sometimes from undercooked venison, etc.


The dogs may both be infected if they both had fleas or both ate the same dead rabbit, but it is not directly contagious from one dog to another.


These parasites do cause anal irritation and therefore, scooting her behind on the rug would be a common symptom. These parasites can also cause a dull haircoat but are otherwise relatively harmless. They are easily treated with medication.


If the worms are not flat and segmented, then it's not tapeworms! If that's the case, try to collect a few of the worms along with a stool sample to have your vet check out.


Best wishes!


Dr. Diane

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Is there a type of medication I can pick up at the feedstore?
Expert:  Dr. Diane replied 7 years ago.

Well, there is a product called Tapeworm Tabs (Tradewinds) that you can buy OTC without a script. The active ingredient is praziquantel. You can find it online if the feedstore doesn't carry it. The dose is dependent on weight, so you'll need an accurate weight on your pet.