What to expect when de-worming a dog

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What to expect when de-worming a dog
Prevent parasitic worms in your dog with topical flea treatments. (Photos.com/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Internal wormlike parasites can cause a variety of health issues in a dog of any age, especially a puppy. A dog obtains these parasites from its mother at birth, by ingesting parasite eggs or through a bite from an intermediate host, such as a mosquito. A puppy or infected dog needs deworming medication to eliminate any possible parasites.

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Types of Intestinal Parasites

A dog can suffer from different types of intestinal worms, the type of which will determine which medicine you or your veterinarian administers. Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms and heartworms can all infect your dog. Roundworms and hookworms can pass through a mother's placenta to her unborn puppies. These worms can all cause anaemia, intestinal blockages, aneurysms, lethargy, diarrhoea, vomiting and even death. You need to treat your dog from a young age to rid it of any worms it may have in its system.

Medications

Give Pyrantel pamoate to your dog to kill adult roundworms and hookworms. Administer this drug to your dog once and then again after four weeks. Febendazole gets rid of whipworms, roundworms, hookworms and some tapeworms; give it to your dog for three days, with repeat dosing after three weeks and again after three months, says PetPlace.com. Praziquantel kills tapeworms, and you give it in one dose. For heartworms, ivermectin kills young heartworms, called microfilaria. Some broad spectrum de-wormers contain a combination of these medications to kill more than one type of worm at once. These deworming combinations come in liquids, granules or chewable tablets you administer to your dog orally, usually mixed in its food.

Side Effects

After giving your dog its deworming medication, it may experience some mild side effects. These include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, upset stomach and weight loss, says Vetinfo. Puppies may experience more side effects than adult dogs. The deworming medicines used to eliminate intestinal parasites paralyse the worms, preventing them from attaching to your dog's intestinal wall. During the deworming period, these live worms will exit your dog's body through its faeces, or the dog may possibly vomit them up. Clean away all vomit or faeces from your yard and in your home to prevent the worms and their eggs from reinfecting your dog.

De-Worming Schedule

You need to administer deworming medication to a puppy at 2 weeks of age, repeating the dose at 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age, reports PetEducation.com. After the puppy reaches 12 weeks of age, you can begin using a combination heartworm preventive medicine and intestinal de-wormer each month for the rest of the dog's life. Have your dog's faeces tested by a veterinarian one to two times a year. If you adopt an older dog, deworm it immediately, then again after 2 weeks, before putting it on the monthly heartworm/deworming medication. Keep your dog's environment clean and free of fleas and mosquitoes to prevent worms along with using preventive medications.

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