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How to deworm a dog

Updated on June 14, 2009

Dogs, especially puppies are prone to worm infestation. A dog owner should not be surprised if there are wriggly spaghetti-like or rice-like “things” in the stool of the pet. This is a sign that the owner has to visit the vet or to get a non prescription wormer from the pet supply store. 

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Types of worms

The most common parasitic worms that infest a dog are the tapeworms, roundworms, whipworm, hookworm and heartworms. Heartworms live in the heart and in the blood vessels of the dog. All the other worms are found in the intestines.

Symptoms and signs of infestation

A dog infested with worms would usually vomit and have diarrhea. The dog would be off its food and consequently would lose weight but would have a pot bellied appearance. Most dogs would have low level of energies and would have a dull coat. These symptoms however can signify other ailments.

Fecal Examination

The best way to determine worm infestation is through regular fecal examination. It is important to have the dog routinely tested to rule out worm infestation. A veterinarian examines a fecal sample through the microscope. Basing on the findings, the vet can now prescribe the appropriate treatments for the worm infested dog.

Prescription and non-prescription wormers

Wormers come in tablet, liquid, paste or injectable forms. Over the counter deworming medications are widely available. Broad spectrum medications are noted to rid the dog of all types of worms. There is a risk in using non-prescription medications. An inappropriate treatment apart from being wasteful can be harmful to the dog as some parasites will develop resistance to the treatments. The drug then would be less effective when it is already needed. Because of the OTC drug’s common use, the inappropriate treatment may not be effective and unable to diminish the infestation. Prescription medication would be based on the fecal examination. This means that the appropriate medication for the particular type of worm will be prescribed. Moreover, correct dosage will be given as the weight and the age of the dog will be considered.

Deworming the dog

For preventive reasons adult dogs are recommended to be dewormed every six months. Newly acquired dogs, especially abandoned ones should be dewormed immediately. Puppies contracted worms from the mother dog even before they are born. Puppies must be dewormed at two weeks intervals until they are 12 weeks old. This treatment follows the life cycle of the parasite. This means that the first treatment will kill adult worms and the following treatments make sure that anything that has been hatched will be killed as well. The puppy will be less susceptible to worm infestation when it has reached 6 months of age. Treatment can be done every six months. Nursing dogs must be concurrently treated with the puppies.

How to Care for a Puppy : Checking for Worms & Deworming Your Dog

Dog Training, Feeding & Care : Side Effects of De-Worming a Cat or Dog

Dog Worms


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    • Paulart profile image

      Paulart 6 years ago from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001

      I appreciate you hub information.Very important for pet owners.


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