Dead Heartworms in Dog Poop?

by SBT
(L.A., CA)

I adopted my dog, a 15 pound Jack Russell, 3 years ago. Her story was fragmented but basically she was found on the streets in Miami and had heartworms. We adopted her a year after all this.

I have taken her since to a heart specialist for ECG and blood work. The doctor said she seemed to have some dead heartworms still in there but couldn't really confirm. Today, there was what appeared to maybe be a dead heartworm in her poop. Is it possible that years after treatment a heartworm can still be coming out?

Vet Suggestion Heartworms in Poop

Hello there,

Heartworms do not exit a dog’s body in the feces in any identifiable form. If they are coughed up out of the lungs and swallowed, they would be digested by the time they make their way through the stomach and small and large intestines.

The most likely explanation for what you observed is that your dog has picked up a gastrointestinal parasite of some sort. Call your veterinarian and ask what he or she would like you to do. If the dog has been seen recently and is otherwise doing fine, your vet may be comfortable with you dropping off a fecal sample for analysis rather than scheduling an appointment. Once the type of worm involved has been identified, specific treatment can begin.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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