Can Dogs Get Parasites From Eating Live Goldfish?

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That calming goldfish pond in the backyard may be your garden's focal point, but it poses a possible health risk for your dog or puppy. Coccidia infection is common in freshwater fish such as goldfish. Tapeworms are common parasites in goldfish. If your dog eats an infected fish, he's at risk.


Many dogs do not show symptoms of coccidiosis even after exposure to protozoa coccidia, as dogs develop immunity to the parasite as they grow. Puppies or dogs with underlying medical conditions are more susceptible to coccidiosis. Symptoms include diarrhea, blood in the stool, vomiting, appetite loss and dehydration. Coccidiosis is treatable with antibiotics, though recovery is slow and typically takes up to two weeks.


If the goldfish your dog ate had a tapeworm infection, or cestodiasis, your dog risks infection. Symptoms include small, white pieces of worm in the dog’s feces or near the tail. Your dog may scratch his anus or scoot his butt on the floor as a way to itch the area. Once your veterinarian determines that your dog has tapeworm, he will administer medications that will kill the worms.