Worms in Dog Water Bowl : 4 Brutal Health Issues To Watch Out For

It can be very disconcerting to find worms in your dog water bowl. Upon encountering such worms, you are likely to have several questions.

Firstly, you will probably want to know whether the worms are coming out of your dog.

Secondly, you will want to know whether the worms in dog water bowl are dangerous.

Thirdly, you will want to know if there is anything you can do about the whole situation.

In this article, we will be addressing those concerns.

While worms in dog water bowl may look unpleasant, they are usually not particularly harmful. In most cases, they come from the environment, and not from the dog’s body. Nonetheless, their presence can be indicative of contamination. If the dog hasn’t already consumed the water with the worms, you should keep him from doing so.

On the other hand, if the dog has already consumed the water with the worms, just observe him closely. Usually, the worst possible outcome from the dog ingesting the worms is minor stomach upset. The dog may vomit or have diarrhea. Of course, if the dog experiences major illness after drinking the water with worms, you should consult your vet immediately.

Why is There Worms in My Dog’s Water Bowl?

There are several reason as to why you could be seeing worms in dog water bowl.

First, it could be that you are letting water stay in the bowl for way too long. So it becomes ‘stagnant water’, which is a magnet for all sorts of worms.

Secondly, it could just be that there are too many worms in the local environment. Those could be specimens like various insects’ larvae and Gordian worms looking for hosts.

Thirdly, it could be that you are keeping your dog water bowl in a place that is too open. So worms end up finding their way into the bowl easily. If you have to keep your dog water bowl outdoors, it should be in a somewhat sheltered spot.

 

What Causes Worms in Water?

One thing that that cause worms in water is stagnation. If water stays in one place for too long without moving/being changed, it starts to attract worms. If water stagnates for way too long, you could even have the worms breeding inside it.

Dirt is another thing that can cause worms in water. If water is dirty, it becomes favorable to hosting worms.

 

Can Dogs Get Sick From Dirty Water Bowls?

Yes, it is possible for dogs to get sick from dirty water bowls. In fact, consuming water from dirty bowls is one of the leading causes of illness in dogs. The best advice therefore is for you to keep your dog water bowls clean. Otherwise your dogs could keep on getting ill ‘mysteriously’.

You really shouldn’t wait until you get to a point of seeing maggots in dog water bowl. Ideally, you should clean the dog water bowl at least once per day. Otherwise you will naturally end up with all manner of bugs in dog’s water bowl.

 

Worms That Can Live in Dog’s Water Bowl

There are several types of worms that can live in dog’s water bowl. Those range from Gordian worms to roundworms and bloodworms. Larvae of mosquitos, midgeflies and other insects also tend to look like worms.

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In most cases, you identify the type of worms in dog water bowl by looking at their color and size. Thus if you see white worms in dog water bowl, you know that it is a certain type of worm. If you see red worms in dog water bowl, you know it is another type of worm.

If you see brown worms in dog water bowl, you know that it is yet another type of worm. Knowing the type of worm you are seeing in your dog’s water bowl is important. It is usually the first step towards understanding the implications of the worms being there.

 

White Worms in Dog Water Bowl

The white worms commonly found in dog water bowls are usually Gordian worms. Those white worms in dog water bowls don’t come from the canines (as many dog owners usually fear). They come from the environment. They hang around water in search of insect hosts.

Of course, those seemingly tiny white worms in dog water bowl are not entirely harmless. If your dog ingests them, he could end up suffering from stomach upsets. So once you discover white worms in dog water bowl after rain or otherwise, you should empty the bowl immediately. Then you should clean the bowl thoroughly, before having the dog use it again.

The worms may not be as harmful as they look. But they can still cause gastro-intestinal problems. And you don’t want your Fido suffering from any harm, however ‘minor’.

If your dog’s immunity is not in top notch condition, you have even more reason to get worried. Whereas Gordian worms may only cause minor issues in healthy dogs, they can be very problematic for already sickly animals. Therefore if your dog is already sickly, and it drinks water with white worms, you should consider consulting your vet.

 

Red Worms In Dog Water Bowl

The red worms in dog water bowl are likely to be blood worms. They are not real worms per se. Rather, they are larvae of certain insects, typically Midge flies.

The discovery of blood worms in dog water bowl can admittedly be very discomfiting. Thankfully, of all worms that tend to hang around dog’s water bowls, blood worms are usually the least harmful.

Notably, the red color of midge fly larvae in dog water bowl could attract your dog into eating them. Thereafter, the acid in the dog’s tummy would probably then turn them into pulp. But there is also a small possibility of the dog reacting badly to these worms. That is especially possible if he has a sensitive stomach. So it is still best to keep your dog from ingesting them, if you discover them in good time.

Worms in Dog Water Bowl - white worms and red worms
Worms in Dog Water Bowl – white worms and red worms

Brown Worms in Dog Water Bowl

The brown worms in dog water bowl could be roundworms. Or they could be certain insects’ larvae. If they are roundworms, you have reason to worry. Roundworms can cause major problems in dogs. So right there would be a dangerous parasite in dog water bowl.

Discovery of roundworms may be a trigger for you to consider deworming. In the meantime, you need to clean the bowl very thoroughly, before having the dog use it again.

But not all brown worms are roundworms. What you may be looking at may simply be brown insect larvae in dogs water bowl. Even then, it would be ideal to clean the bowl thoroughly, before having the dog use it again. Don’t take chances with these things.

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Mosquito Larvae in Dog Water Bowl

It is not uncommon to find mosquito larvae in dog water bowl. These usually manifest as small black worms in dog water bowl. There is some association between the mosquito larvae and heartworm disease in dogs. This means that the discovery of mosquito larvae in dog water bowl is cause for concern.

What you need to do, upon discovering mosquito larvae, is embark on mosquito control measures. Remember, the greater your dog’s exposure to mosquito larvae, the higher the chances of it eventually suffering heartworm disease. That is a dangerous disease, whose complications include arteries clogging. And the mosquito larvae are not entirely safe to you either – especially if you let them grow into adult mosquitos.

Color of Worm in Dog Water Bowl Probable Type of Worm
White Gordian worms
Red Bloodworms or insect larvae
Brown Roundworms or insect larvae
Black Mosquito larvae

 

How to Eliminate Worms in Your Dog’s Water Bowl?

There are three key strategies with which to eliminate worms in your dog’s water bowl.

First, you need to ensure that you clean the dog’s water bowl frequently. A clean dog water bowl is a hostile environment for most worms.

Secondly, you need to ensure that you change the water in the dog’s water bowl frequently. The worms prefer water that stays in one place for long. So if you change the water in the dog’s bowl frequently, the worms won’t like it.

Thirdly, try to replace plastic water bowls with stainless steel water bowls. That too would go a long way towards keeping worms away.

 

Can Dogs Get Worms From Drinking Water From a Dirty Water Bowl?

Yes, it is very possible for dogs to get worms from drinking water from a dirty water bowls. That is why you should endeavor to maintain high standards of cleanliness.

Besides the visible worms we are discussing, there are other invisible worms that can affect a dog. Both the visible and invisible worms have a tendency to be drawn to dirty water bowls.

 

Health Issues to Watch Out for if There are Worms in Dog Water Bowl

Upon discovering worms in dog water bowl, you need to start watching out for certain health issues. Those include leptospirosis and giardia. Others are e-coli and coccidia.

 Leptospirosis

The fact that your dog water bowl is harboring worms means that it could also be harboring bacteria. And those may include the leptospira bacteria, which are known to cause leptospirosis.

So it may be a good idea to get the leptospirosis vaccination for your dog. Further, it may be a good idea to improve the hygiene around your dog’s water and food bowls.

 

Giardia

Giardia is a disease that can cause the dog to have almost permanent diarrhea bouts. It can also cause severe vomiting, and ultimately weight loss.

The disease is caused by bacteria, which tend to proliferate in dirty places. Thus if you are finding worms in dog water bowl, you should be on the lookout for diseases like giardia.

 

E-coli

Finding worms in dog water bowl is a sign that the bowl and the water in it could be contaminated. And besides worms, the water may also be harboring e-coli bacteria.

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You therefore need to take remedial measures immediately, to ensure that the dog stops being exposed to contaminated water. Those should mainly revolve around improving the hygiene of the dog’s water and food bowls.

In the meantime, you should be on the lookout for e-coli symptoms. In dogs, those include diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. Particularly bad cases it can cause depression, lethargy and rapid heart rates.

 

Coccidia

Coccidia is one of those diseases that are caused by protozoans. It is the sort of disease that a dog taking contaminated water could easily be infected with. And the fact that you are seeing worms in dog water bowl is indicative of almost certain contamination.

So you need to be on the lookout for Coccidia symptoms – usually stomach upsets and diarrhea. Should you see such signs, you can quickly draw a connection. That would be a connection between the symptoms and the contaminated water your dog may have been taking.

 

Final Verdict

The discovery of worms in dog water bowl is not to be taken lightly. True, the worms may not be as harmful as they look. But the fact that you are finding them may be indicative of failing hygiene standards. It could also mean that you are not changing the dog’s water frequently enough. So you would need to address those issues.

Worms in Dog Water Bowl - white worms and red worms
Worms in Dog Water Bowl – white worms and red worms

If your dog has already consumed water with worms in it, you need to observe him closely.

You should be on the lookout for diseases that are caused directly by the worms – including heartworm and roundworm issues. You should also be on lookout for diseases that aren’t directly caused by the warms, but rather by contaminated water. Those would include the likes of e-coli, coccidia, giardia and leptospirosis. If you see anything out of the ordinary, contact your vet immediately.

 

Other Health concern related articles on how do dogs attract parasites and how to treat them

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