Why is it important to deworm my dog?

Intestinal parasites, worms in the GI tract, can cause really serious systemic effects, maybe more immediately on the GI tract itself: vomiting, diarrhea, et cetera.

Dr. Lander
Advanced Animal Care in Richmond

What are some of the parasites found in dogs, and how are they treated?

The most common ones that we might see are roundworms and hookworms, let alone tapeworms, whipworms, giardia, coccidia, et cetera.

How do intestinal parasites impact the health and well-being of my dog?

Those can cause GI signs such as vomiting and diarrhea. Hookworms especially can cause things like anemia, so they deplete the body of red blood cells. There are definitely some systemic effects there.

What are some signs and symptoms of intestinal parasites in a dog?

Probably the most immediate one you'll see at home is a loose stool. Your dog might experience diarrhea, vomiting, and a very bloated abdomen. That could tell us that we may have intestinal parasites going on, especially in puppies.

Would I be able to see the worms in my dog's stool?

You may, absolutely. Tapeworms, for example, look like little bits of rice versus the full worm itself, and you could also see roundworms.

How will a veterinarian diagnose intestinal parasites in my dog?

It's a pretty straightforward and inexpensive diagnostic tool known as a fecal float or intestinal parasite exam, where we take a stool sample. Whether you bring it in or we collect it here, we put it in a certain solution and we allow the eggs to float to the top. We put that on a slide and look at it under the microscope. If we see those eggs, then it tells us, "Hey, there must be adults producing these eggs present in the GI tract."

Why is early detection and diagnosis of intestinal parasites in dogs so important?

We want to avoid those more systemic effects, let alone your dog being uncomfortable with diarrhea and vomiting. They can get really dehydrated, and anemia is a really serious side effect for which we may have to do something as serious as a blood transfusion to correct. It’s better to deworm and get rid of those.

What is the difference between natural remedies or over the counter dewormers compared to prescription medication?

Dewormers exist in supermarkets, pet stores, et cetera, and they may be efficacious. Unfortunately, with these products that are out there for anyone to pick up, we worry about resistance. Sometimes parasites, whether fleas, ticks, or intestinal parasites, can build resistance against certain chemicals and medications. The ones prescribed by your veterinarian aren't nearly as overused, so those parasites are still susceptible to them.

How do I choose the right dewormer for my dog?

The right dewormer depends on what life stage they're in. So for puppies, for example, we'll do things like Panacur or Drontal. They're liquid formulations that help clear them out at each puppy vaccine appointment. In the case of an adult dog that hasn't been on heartworm prevention, we might do something like Drontal. This is a one-time tablet that just clears them out of that current infection. Unfortunately, then it takes prevention to prevent infections later on.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (859) 202-3641, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Dog Deworming - FAQs

Dr. Lander
Advanced Animal Care in Richmond

How is my dog tested for worms?

It's a pretty simple, straightforward diagnostic. We collect some stool, whether you bring it here or we collect it in-house. We do a fecal float to see if there are any eggs, and we look at that under the microscope.

What medication is used for deworming in dogs?

It depends on the life stage that they're in. Maybe as a puppy, they'll get liquid formulations, like Panacur or Nemex. If they get older and they're not on prevention, unfortunately, we might do a one-time administration of something like Drontal.

How can I deworm my dogs at home?

The best deworming products to give your dog are prescribed by a veterinarian, so it usually requires an exam. Whether we send it home for you to give at home, you’ll get the best product. You may pick some up at a supermarket or pet store but, again, I recommend they be prescribed by your veterinarian.

How often should my dog be dewormed?

From a preventative standpoint, your dog should be dewormed year-round. We have products that not only prevent heartworm, fleas, and ticks, but also intestinal parasites. This one prevents against roundworms and hookworms, but all of these definitely supply some of that in terms of prevention. An annual stool sample is really good to check and rule out; if your dog is on prevention, the likelihood that we have intestinal parasites is low, but it's always something to rule out.

What happens when my dog is dewormed?

When your dog is dewormed, they may honestly shed some of those; you may actually see live worms in your dog's stool. As a whole, we're getting rid of all the life stages present to hopefully clear them out, so don't be alarmed if you see anything like that.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (859) 202-3641, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.