Roundworms & Hair Loss in Dogs

Canine at vet for roundworm treatment.
Canine at vet for roundworm treatment. (Image: Image by, courtesy of Randy)

Roundworms are parasites that invade a dog's body, usually at a very young age. If a pregnant female dog is infected, the puppies will be born with roundworms. Dull coats and hair loss are symptoms of roundworm infestation in canines.


To prevent roundworm infestations, owners may give dogs roundworm-preventive medicine, usually administered monthly. If a dog is already infested to the point of hair loss or dull coat, it is time to consult a veterinarian. Roundworms can be eliminated, but the dosing amount can be lethal if given improperly.


When hair loss is a symptom of roundworms, it is likely that the infestation is severe and ongoing. Dogs typically present other symptoms at first, notably diarrhea, vomiting, slow development in puppies, weight loss and the physical presence of worms in stool.


Other worm infestations, health problems and environmental elements can cause hair loss in dogs. Dog owners should see a licensed veterinarian to determine the specific cause.


Roundworms are transmitted via soil and feces. If a dog has roundworms, the owner should isolate him (and his waste) from other dogs and children. Children, puppies, kittens and adult canines and felines can contract roundworms if they consume roundworms or their eggs via feces or another animal's food or water bowl.

Expert Insight

The matter in fresh stool is unlikely to infect humans and other animals (potentially instigating hair loss) with roundworm due to the roundworm's life cycle. More dangerous are feces created three weeks ago or longer.

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