My Dog Has Black Bugs In Her Poop

Photo by Mike Dixon on Flickr

As a dog-parent, it’s an unsettling sight to see bugs wriggling around in your dog’s poop. That’s likely the reason you’re here, or perhaps you just want to be well-prepared for this scenario in the future.

Understandably, your first concern will be for your dog’s health, and you’ll want to make sure that they are fine.

Today, we’ll cover this topic in detail, including which bugs are cause for concern (and a trip to the vet), and which bugs you can safely ignore. Let’s bug-in!

What are the main types of bugs that can be seen in dog poop?

To simplify this discussion, we’ll divide the bugs into two types: external and internal. As their name implies, external bugs come from outside your dog; while internal ones occur inside, like intestinal worms/parasites.

The most common external bugs that are found in your dog’s stool are fly larvae, dung beetles, and black ants. Sometimes you might even see slugs in your dog’s poop. As a pet owner, none of these are a cause for concern. These aren’t coming from the inside of your dog. As hard as it is to believe, your dog’s poop is full of nutrients for these bugs to enjoy.

When it comes to internal bugs, however, you should worry about these. The most common internal worms that you’ll be able to see in your dog’s poop are intestinal worms, which include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.

Are there any bugs that are black?

When you see black bugs wriggling around in your dog’s feces, it will most likely be either dung beetles or house ants. In order to know for certain, you’ll have to take a closer look. We know, nobody wants to go poop-diving… but it needs to be done for the sake of your dog’s health. 

If, after taking a closer look, you think these bugs don’t look like dung beetles or black ants, you’ll have to collect a sample of the poop and take it to your vet.

It’s worth mentioning here that there can be sometimes black spots in your dog’s poop, which can look like black bugs. These black specks are also a cause of concern as they can be spots of dried blood. Contact your vet if you see these.

Why do dogs have bugs in their poop?

Dogs can get bugs in their poop from a variety of sources. Let’s look at the most common ones:

  1. Most commonly, your dog will ingest food or dirt which contains these bugs. Sometimes dogs eat fleas which can cause intestinal parasites.
  2. Dogs can also drink from contaminated water sources such as ponds or lakes, which might be brimming with these bugs/parasites.
  3. Lastly, bites from mosquitoes and fleas can cause internal parasites in your dog.

Which of these bugs need to be treated?

If you find external bugs in your dog’s poop (namely fly larvae, dung beetles, house ants, and slugs), these are not a cause for concern. As we’ve mentioned before, these are not coming from inside your dog so they don’t need to be treated. If they turn out to be something other than the bugs mentioned here, you definitely need to get a sample to your vet.

External bugs on your dog’s body are a different story. You do need to treat these. The most common external parasites that you can find on your dog’s body are fleas, ticks, lice, and ear mites. Luckily, external parasites are rather easy to get rid of, and your vet will tell you which medication to use.

Lastly, internal parasites in your dog’s poop do need to get treated, in all cases. In order to find out whether a bug/parasite is internal or external, you’ll have to take a closer look at the poop. 

Why do dogs have black poop?

If your dog has black poop, that’s alarming and it shouldn’t be ignored. To give you an idea, some of the causes of black stool in dogs include toxins, a foreign body in the gastrointestinal system, pancreatitis, kidney failure, cancer, and internal blood loss. 

As you can tell, none of these sounds even remotely good. So, if you notice black poop in your dog, get in touch with your vet immediately. 

There is an exception to this.

And that is for dog who are on a raw food diet and who have black poop.

For them having black poop isn’t a result of your dog having something wrong with them, it is a result of eating a certain type of food.

My two dogs are on a raw food diet and they eat a variety of meats. 

And every week or so one of  their poops will be black.

This is because the meat that they ate most recently contained a lot of blood.

Iron rich foods tend to produce black poop and for my dogs, there is a blend of ox (cow) mince which turns their poop much darker. 

What are small black bugs found on dogs that aren’t fleas?

There are quite a few external bugs that can be found on your dog’s body. Obviously, fleas are the most common so we won’t cover these. Apart from fleas, there are 3 bugs you have to watch out for:

  1. Lice: Lice are quite common in both human beings and dogs, so spotting one should be easy. They don’t need a detailed description. The only thing worth mentioning here is that you cannot catch your dog’s lice.
  2. Ticks: These eight-legged parasites are annoying, especially because they can bite and transmit diseases to human beings as well. These pesky insects can transmit quite a lot of diseases, both to you and to your pet. So, you have to watch out for them. Luckily, they’re quite easy to spot and get rid of and, given the severity of the diseases they can cause, you should get rid of them ASAP.
  3. Ear mites: Your dog’s ear mites cannot transfer to you, but they can transfer to other cats and dogs. Ear mites are so tiny that they cannot be seen. However, you can see their evidence in your dog’s ears. If your dog gets restless because of itchy ears, and a closer inspection reveals black earwax, your dog likely has ear mites.

Luckily, as mentioned above, bugs that are found on dogs are quite easy to get rid of. Keep an eye out for them, and let your vet know as soon as you spot them.

What are white bugs that are found in dog poop?

When it comes to white bugs that can be found in your dog’s poop, there’s quite a bit of variety. First, let’s cover the harmless one: fly larvae. You don’t need to worry about these because flies lay their eggs in your dog’s poop after the fact. These don’t come from inside your dog.

Now, let’s cover some white bugs you do need to worry about:

  1. Roundworms: These resemble thin noodles and can be anywhere from 2-6 inches long. If you find these, get rid of them ASAP because these can easily transfer to you.  
  2. Hookworms: Hookworms can be almost invisible to the naked eye. They’re white and very thin. Both hookworms and roundworms can transfer to you, from something as simple as your dog’s licking you.
  3. Tapeworms: Tapeworms look like small grains of rice in your dog’s poop. They can also be seen around your dog’s rectum. 
  4. Whipworms: Whipworms look very similar to hookworms; except they have a tail that looks like a whip and they’re much easier to spot because they’re bigger.

Treatment for these is quite easy and your vet will prescribe deworming meds to get rid of them. 

Conclusion

We covered quite a lot of ground today. So, we’ll summarize the important bits for you.

  1. The bugs found in your dog’s poop can be divided into external and internal.
  2. The external ones are fly larvae, dung beetles, black ants, and slugs. These don’t need to be worried about.
  3. You do need to worry about the internal ones, because, as their name implies, they’re coming from inside your dog. The most common ones are intestinal worms; which include hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms.
  4. As soon as you notice these internal worms in your dog’s feces, you need to contact your vet.
  5. The most likely candidates when it comes to black bugs wriggling around in your dog’s poop are either dung beetles or house ants. You’ll have to take a closer look to confirm.
  6. If, after inspection, the bugs turn out to be neither one of these, you’ll have to take a fecal sample and take it to your vet.
  7. There can sometimes be black spots in your dog’s poop and these can look like black bugs. If you find these, immediately make an appointment with your vet as these can be dried spots of blood.
  8. Your dogs can get internal bugs either through their mouth, by eating or drinking something, or through flea/mosquito bites.
  9. Your dog doesn’t need treatment for external bugs, namely fly larvae, dung beetles, black ants, and slugs. 
  10. Your dog does need treatment for internal worms.
  11. Black poop is extremely alarming and, if you spot it, you should see your vet ASAP.
  12. The black bugs that can be found on your dog’s body include fleas, lice, ticks, and ear mites.
  13. The white bugs in your dog’s poop can include fly larvae, hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and whipworms. All of these worms need treatment; whereas the fly larvae do not.

Lastly, we have to mention heartworms. While these cannot be found in your dog’s poop, they are by far the most dangerous worms and can be fatal. Your dog can get these through mosquito bites. Their treatment is both risky and extremely costly. Luckily, their prevention is quite cheap through a monthly pill.

If your dog isn’t on heartworm prevention medication already, start her/him on it as soon as possible. However, have your dog tested for heartworms before starting these medications. Heartworm prevention medication can be dangerous if your dog already has heartworms.

That’s it for today. We hope you learned a lot of useful stuff here. Let us know if you’d like us to cover a particular topic. We’ll bug out.