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Can I Buy Cheap Wormer for My Dog?

Updated on August 12, 2016
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr Mark is a veterinarian in Brazil. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Dogs that have been dewormed are healthier.
Dogs that have been dewormed are healthier. | Source

Deworming your dog should not be expensive or a lot of work. There are many internal parasites that affect dogs; some of them are annoying and some of them are deadly. The only thing they have in common is that they are all easy to get rid of.

There are already so many great articles on this site about internal parasites in dogs, and I will not just rehash what they have to say. I would recommend that you take a stool sample in to your local veterinarian´s office and have it examined for worm eggs. A lot of times a dog will not even have worms and buying a dewormer , even if it is inexpensive, is just a waste of money. (Spend it on a new toothbrush or some dental chews for your dog!)

How often should you have the stool checked for worms? It is really hard to say. If the dog is just around the house once a year is fine. If she has puppies, goes out to the dog park all the time, or is in agility or dog shows, you need to have her checked more often. If the dog does have worms they will let you know what type he has. Even if they try to sell you the dewormer you can think about the cost and let them know later whether or not you want to buy it there. Treating worms is not an emergency. Sometimes it will be worth it to just spend a few dollars and buy the treatment from your veterinarian, but if you have several dogs or large dogs you may want to buy online.

Not digging for worms
Not digging for worms | Source


In another article I gave the dose of ivermectin you can use to prevent heartworm infection. Ivermectin will also kill most of your dog´s intestinal parasites but even if you have bought some and have it on hand DO NOT use it for that. The dose for heartworm prevention is very low (.oo6mg per kilogram); the dose to kill worms is high (about 0.2 micrograms per kilogram) and a small percentage of dogs will react adversely to that high dose and will have serious health problems, even dying. Sensitivity to ivermectin is most common in herding breeds so some people that keep these dogs (collies, shelties, aussies, etc) will get their dogs tested for the MDR-1 gene before using ivermectin. Sometimes this problem will show up in other breeds that are not normally susceptible so it is not worth using this drug at a high dose and taking this risk. If you give the small dose for heartworm prevention there is no risk.


If the stool sample shows that your dog has roundworms or hookworms he can be treated cheaply and safely with a drug called pyrantel pamoate. It is the drug used with ivermectin in the heartworm preventative you buy from your veterinarian. The drug is effective at 5mg/kg but is so mild that you can give twice that much with no problem.


Nemex is one of the most common brand names when you buy pyrantel pamoate alone. It is inexpensive and can be obtained at many of the online drug supply sites like drs foster and smith, petco, and onlinepetmeds . I have also put a capsule on here showing some forms of the drug available from Amazon.com but I do recommend that you shop around.


There are several other medications just as effective as pyrantel pamoate (Panacur, Drontal Plus) but it is like going to the pharmacy and buying medication for a sore throat, congestion, vomiting, and a headache, when all you need is an aspirin for the headache.


Healthy puppies at play!
Healthy puppies at play!


If your dog has tapeworms the ivermectin and pyrantel pamoate are not effective. Tapeworms are the type of parasite your dog picks up when she is eating fleas on her skin. (I do not have a good photo to put on here but they usually look like large grains of rice on top of the dog´s stool. The Youtube video I have attached is pretty graphic and shows a larger segment crawling out of a stool.) Not all dogs get tapeworms, of course, and not all dogs need to be treated. It is really not dangerous like roundworms in puppies but the little worm segments look nasty and most people want to get rid of them as soon as they see them. They are not going to show up on your dog´s stool exam so if you notice them you do not really need to take a sample in to your veterinarian, just go ahead and buy the treatment. I have attached another capsule from Amazon.com listing a tapeworm treatment but there are plenty of alternatives out there.


Puppies at play on the beach.
Puppies at play on the beach. | Source


Remember:


1. Have a stool sample checked before treating your dog for worms


2. Use pyrantel pamoate or other inexpensive wormers when they will work.


3. Use ivermectin to prevent heartworm disease but not to kill intestinal worms.


4. If your dog is diagnosed with coccidia or giardia she will need alternative treatment.


If you have any questions I can help you with leave a comment and I will get back with you as soon as possible.


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    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      That is how my daughters' boxers play. That is how my youngest dog likes to play too.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
      Author

      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Thanks for the visit. The red dog (with cropped ears) is my companion, her playmate is her brother who lives here on the island. They look like they´re really fighting and scare some people with their growling but it is all in fun.

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Interesting article and good to keep in mind.

      Admire the pictures of the dogs playing. Are those yours?

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