If you’ve noticed the symptoms of your dog having worms you have probably come to the conclusion that they need a dewormer of some sort. It’s definitely a good idea to get rid of the worms your dog has, but there’s the right way and the wrong way to do so.
It can be pretty nasty to see the signs of worms in your dog, especially when you go to clean up their mess and there’s a lot of creepy crawlies in it. But the good news is that this is a pretty common problem, so there are pre-established remedies and your vet can prescribe the right dewormer for your dog and have this problem taken care of quickly, and with little involvement on your part.
There are also some over the counter dewormers out there, but these don’t measure up to the quality that you’ll get from going to the vet, and can drag the situation out longer than it needs to be. We cover some of the drawbacks to these medications below.
Can I Give My Dog Dewormer? Answer: Get a Prescription
A prescription for your vet will be powerful enough to eradicate the worms quickly, and will be a broad enough range to kill off different types of worms so that your dog is free and clear of them. They’ll also be able to correctly dose the medicine for your dog’s size, age, and breed. They’ll also be able to accurately diagnose whether your dog has worms, and what kind of worms they have. Since dogs can fall victim for a lot of different worms like roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and more it’s important to treat them based on what they have.
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 might rid your dog of the larger more visible worms that you can see in their feces, but they won’t kill the smaller parasites and other worms that you can’t see. This means that you might get the false impression that your dog has beaten their case of worms, when in fact there is still a problem to be dealt with.
What You Can’t See
Not all worms that your dog has will be visible to the naked eye, or come out in their poop. There are plenty of varieties of worms that can’t be seen, 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 the vet for a case of worms, because they can test to see which type of types of worms your dog has, and prescribe accordingly. The good thing about taking them in is that it’s usually just required once, and you can knock the problem out, rather than having it be a recurring trip.
The vet will take a sample of your dog’s feces to see if worms are present, using a microscope. They’ll also take a blood sample so that they can check for heart worms. That way your dog will be checked for both intestinal worms and worms found in the heart, two areas that you can’t inspect too well as the owner. Vet visits might be expensive, but this is an important health concern for your dog, and worth it in the long run.
Dogs can get worms from a variety of sources, and it’s really hard to try to prevent them from getting them. The best way is to keep a regular schedule of checking for worms so that they don’t have them for long if they do get them. An annual checkup for worms is good for most dogs, but it’s always a good idea to check for symptoms on an ongoing basis to make sure that you’re not missing the obvious signs.
It’s important not to panic if your dog has worms. In most cases it’s not too serious of a condition, and it just means they haven’t been functioning at their best. Once they are worm free you’ll probably notice that they’re more active, and that they seem to be happier overall.