Can I Give My Dog Dewormer?

Can I Give My Dog Dewormer?If you’ve seen symptoms indicating your dog has worms you may have come to the conclusion they need a dewormer of some sort. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

Signs of your dog having been invaded by worms, especially when you clean up their mess with lots of creepy crawlies in it, can be unsettling. The good news is that this is a fairly common problem, so there are remedies. A vet can prescribe the right dewormer for your dog and have this problem taken care of quickly.

There are also some over-the-counter dewormers, but these don’t measure up to the quality you’ll get from going to a vet. You don’t want a wormy situation to drag out longer than it needs to. We’ll cover some of the details to these medications below.

Can I Give My Dog Dewormer? Answer: Get a Prescription

A prescription from your vet will be powerful enough to eradicate your dog’s worms quickly.

It will also be a broad enough to kill off many different types of worms so that your dog will be free and clear of them. Most importantly, they’ll be able to correctly dose the medicine for your dog’s size, age, and breed.

In fact, a veterinarian needs to accurately diagnose whether your dog has worms, and what kind of worms they have. Since dogs can fall victim to a lot of different worms like roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and more it’s important to treat them based on what they actually have.

Regarding OTC Dewormers

The problem with an over the counter de-wormer is that while they may work on some types of worms, they often won’t get them all. This can be troublesome because they may rid your dog of the larger more visible worms seen in their feces, but they may not kill the smaller parasites and other nasty unseen worms.

This means that you might get the false impression that your dog has beaten their case of the worms, when in fact there could still be a problem to be dealt with. Obviously it is much better to eradicate worms in a way that best assures successful treatment and OTC products may not do the job to the degree a prescription can.

The Truth About Worms

Not all worms that your dog has will be visible to the naked eye. There are plenty of worm varieties that can’t be seen in a canine’s poop, or that remain in the intestinal tract of your dog, never seeing the light of day. That’s why it’s best to bring your dog to a vet for a case of worms. A vet can test to see exactly which type of worms your dog has, and prescribe accordingly. Such a medication is usually required just once, knocking the problem out.

For a complete examination, your dog will be checked for both intestinal worms and worms found in the heart. Usually a sample of your dog’s feces are collected to see if they are present. The stool is examined and analysed using a microscope. A blood sample is taken to check for heart worms.

Vet visits may be expensive, but this is an important health concern for your dog. It’s worth it in the long run.

Prevention is the Key

Dogs can get worms from a variety of sources. Prevention is tedious and difficult. Keep a regular schedule for checking so that they won’t have worms for long, if they do get them. Ideally, an annual checkup for worms is optimal for most dogs. If that can’t be done, it’s always a good idea to check for symptoms on an ongoing basis. Make sure that you aren’t missing the obvious signs for your dog’s sake.

Conclusion on Dewormers

Don’t panic if your dog has worms. In most cases, it’s not too serious of a condition. It may just mean they haven’t been functioning at their best but recovery is very likely with good treatment and a gentle recovery. Once they are worm free, you’ll likely notice that they’re more active and that they seem to be happier overall.

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Melanie November, 2014

My almost 16 year old Chihuahua, Tommy, has been skinny for the past couple of years. My husband has become convinced that he has worms. Tommy has a complete checkup every year. He had his last one about 8 months ago and has been in for other things since then. Tommy hasn’t been losing weight, just maintaining his skinny frame.

Is it dangerous to give a dog OTC dewormer when you don’t even know that he has worms (as my husband wants to do)? Tommy is about 4-4.5 pounds and looks skinny. But, like I said, he started thinning up as he got older and doesn’t eat as much as he used to eat. Thank you!


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