Signs a Dog Has Worms

Here at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital, we often get calls from concerned owners about worms. Let’s face it, worms are not a nice thought and nobody enjoys the clean up that can occur in the yard or the house, from a pet with a belly full of these wiggly parasites. Yikes!!

What are the signs?

Scooting has often been thought of as a telltale sign your pet has worms. However, this is not always the case. More likely, pets scoot due to full or impacted anal glands, skin allergies or flea bites.

Other signs to watch for include:

  • Bloated, round bellies
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Poor coat
  • Lethargy – signs of weakness
  • Constant hunger
  • Weight loss
  • Visible worms or eggs in feces
  • Visible larva found in the fur around the base of the tail

What do worms look like?

When worms are shed, passed through the feces or vomited up, you will typically see one of two things: long, thin, white spaghetti-like strands or small rice-like segments either in the feces or on the coat of your pet. These segments can often be found lying around the house on furniture, or bedding. Tapeworms break off in segments and are often referred to as rice-like. Roundworms (which are the most common in our puppies and kittens) are often described as spaghetti-like.

How do I get rid of them?

Worms can easily be treated with an oral medication from your veterinarian. There are also topical medications which help control internal parasite infestations, not all worm treatments are over the counter products. If your pet is past due for an annual health exam or if your pet has never been seen by that veterinarian, you will be required to book an exam prior to medication being prescribed.

Depending on the type of worms being treated, your pet may require a single dose or multiple doses to ensure the entire life-cycle of that particular parasite has been eradicated. The best medicine is prevention. Internal parasite medications do not prevent your pet from picking up parasites but help to control them and keep on top of potential infestations. Every pet is an individual and will require their own parasite control program Some pets require treatment once or twice a year, while others every three months. Your veterinarian will be able to assist you in finding the best parasite program for your pets needs.

Written by Van Isle Veterinary Hospital


Get a Cupcake and Support BC Animals in Need During Treat Week (Feb 24 - Mar 1, 2020)

Van Isle Veterinary Hospital is super excited to be hosting our 4th annual cupcake day fundraiser! BCSPCA celebrates “Treat Week” across the Province from Feb 24th – March 1st 2020 where business, pet owners and animal lovers can bake up a storm and sell treats with the proceeds going to BC animals in need.

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Last updated: December 2, 2021

Dear Clients,

Welcome back! We are happy to be able to invite our pet parents back into the hospital with their pets!! However, we are still following many of our previous health and safety protocols which have know been implemented as part of our communicable disease prevention protocol. We appreciate your patience, understanding and cooperation as we navigate through these times together. By helping to keep each other safe, we can continue to keep your pets safe.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

We continue to see a significant demand for these types of services. We want to thank everyone in advance for your patience while we work through this. Sometimes this means wait times of several weeks to be seen for non-urgent appointments. This allows our team to properly assess and triage those more critical patients that require our immediate attention. Although restrictions have been lifted, our health and safety protocols have not. It is important we continue to follow the guidelines set out by Worksafe BC and put our team’s safety and that of the public first.


Our DVM team is excited to invite you back into our exam rooms with your pets as long as we have the capacity to do so. To maintain a safe distance, we ask that only one pet parent accompany their pet into the exam room with the doctor. You will be asked to sanitize your hands upon entry and please do not enter our hospital if you are feeling unwell, have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or have been told to isolate by Island health.


The use of our online store for easy ordering, payment and delivery of our pet's food, flea and tick medications. Orders over $100 can be delivered to your home for free! CLICK HERE


We continue to offer our clients emergency on call services 7 days a week between the hours of 8:00 am and midnight, including stat holidays.

After-hours emergency care will be referred to Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital between the hours of midnight - 8:00 am. They can be reached at 250-933-0913. 

Our regular hours of operation remain the same:

Monday: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Tuesday - Friday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Thank you for helping us make this transition in our health and safety protocols as safe as possible, so our team can be at its best and continue to look after you and your pet!

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital