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Dog worms treatment: all you need to know to keep your dog healthy

By Daniel Mar Journalist

Updated on the

Dogs are perfect hosts for worms. Parasites worms can cause several health problems to pets. Knowing about various dog worms’ treatment is essential.

Dogs are bound to pick up pests eventually. One of the most common pests that dogs tend to have is a parasite worm. Pets usually have parasite worms at least once in their lifetime. Some veterinarians might even say that it is inevitable. If your dog is showing signs of diarrhea or vomiting, licking under his tail and loss of weight, go to the veterinarian.

Recognize the parasite to begin the right dog worms’ treatment

There are 5 types of worms that every dog owner should know: heartworms, roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms. The first one lives in the blood and the rest within the intestines. Before treating worms, it is important to know which type they are because each is exterminated by a specific medication. Here you have a list of symptoms which can help you decipher if your dog has worms:

  1. Check your dog’s feces: intestinal worms can often be detected by observing a dog’s normal feces. Roundworms and whipworms can cause diarrhea. If your dog is having diarrhea for some days, he/she can have worms. Hookworms and whipworms can cause blood to appear in a dog’s feces. Tapeworms can be seen in dog feces or clinging to the hair of the anus (they look like grains of white rice).

  2. Vomiting: roundworms and tapeworms in the intestines can make a dog vomit frequently.

  3. Coughing: roundworms can make a dog develop a cough. Dogs rarely cough, so if your dog starts to cough, just go to the vet.

  4. Physical changes: dogs with worms tend to swell around the mid-section. They also lose weight very rapidly. These are clear signs of intestinal worms. Fortunately, once you apply the right dog worms’ treatment, the situation can quickly reverse.

  5. A dull coat and skin irritation: some intestinal worms can cause your dog’s hair to lose its shine and become flat and dull. Also, hookworms can cause skin irritation.

  6. Excessive farting: if your dog is more flatulent than usual, it can be a clear sign of whipworms.

  7. Anemia: since these parasites steal nutrients from your dog’s intestines, your pet can develop an iron deficiency. You can prove that your dog is anemic by checking the gums. Normal gums look pink, but if these are pale, your dog might have anemia.

  8. Itching and fatigue: dogs with tapeworm experience itching around the anus. This is mainly why they drag their bottoms along the ground. Likewise, a dog with hookworms or whipworms can act very fatigued.

  9. Watch out for heartworms: this type of worms is located in the blood. Unlike the rest, an early infection of heartworms has no symptoms. In fact, a dog can look fine for years. That is why you need to test your dog’s blood regularly. This is important because advanced cases of heartworm are fatal.

Pick the best dog worms’ treatment

There are many ways to deworm dogs. Thankfully, the sooner you treat your dog, the sooner he/she will be healthy again. Your vet will indicate how to treat your dog for worms. It can either be done by mouth or in a shot. A dog worms’ treatment is ‘broad-spectrum’ meaning that it can treat a wide range of parasites like worms.

In the case of heartworms, a dog worms’ treatment is more difficult. As said earlier, your vet will need to do a blood test. Shortly after, he/she will have to do an X-ray (among other tests) to determine how serious is the infection. Initially, vets prescribe monthly heartworm prevention plus antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medicine. After a month has passed, then your dog can begin with the heartworm treatment. It involves a series of three shots over a period of 2 months. Then, your dog needs several months of rest because broken pieces of heartworms can block the blood flow. After six months have passed, your vet will test your pet’s blood once again to see if the parasites are gone.

You can also try some home remedies which can improve the reach of a dog worms’ treatment. Here you have a small list:

  • Garlic: use a single clove of garlic and add it crushed to meals.

  • Oregon grape: only give 12 drops at most for every 9kg of the weight of your pet.

  • Pumpkin seeds: grind the pumpkin seeds and add a small tablespoon to meals for every 5kg of weight.

  • Areca palm kernel: give 2 grams of seeds in meals (3 times a day for a whole week).

  • Pineapple: cut the pineapple into small pieces and give some to your dog every day.

  • Gentian: boil water and add a tablespoon of gentian root powder (boil for 5 minutes). Give this potion to your dog twice a day for a week.

Prevention is the best dog's worm treatment

The best possible way to protect your dog from worms is to keep your house and yard clean. Furthermore, make sure that your vet checks your pet for all kinds of worms at least once every year (unless he/she is a puppy, then it should be 2 times per year). Get a prescription for drug-preventing heartworms, and give it to your dog once a month (never skip a month).

Deworming is a process that should begin from the time your dog is a puppy. Try to follow these preventive measures to keep your dog from getting worms. However, if it doesn’t work out, go to the vet to get a good dog worms’ treatment.  

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