In case your dog experiences recurrent worm infestation it is best to have your pet examined by a qualified veterinarian before you try to get rid of worms in your dog yourself. Let us first list the most common worms dogs suffer from.
Hookworms are small worms (about one half inch long) that draw blood by attaching themselves to the walls of the small intestines. They begin to pass eggs in the dog’s stool very soon after initial contact. They become adults in less than 2 weeks.
Unborn puppies can get infected while still in the uterus and young puppies can get the disease from the milk of the infected mother. Typical signs of infestation are anemia and diarrhea. Stools are usually dark or tarry-black and may contain blood.
Even dogs that recover from the disease can become carriers by way of cysts in the tissue. Dogs with acute symptoms of hookworms need intensive veterinary care. Furthermore, a new outbreak can take place during period of stress or illness.
Tapeworms are another kind of worms dogs usually suffer from. Just like hookworms they also attach themselves to the small intestines with their head. Their length can range anywhere from a few inches to several feet. Fresh moist segments of tapeworms are passed in the feces and they may sometimes be seen moving. These segments are a quarter of an inch long and can adhere to the area around the dog’s anus. They look like pieces of rice when dead. Tapeworms are commonly transmitted by fleas.
Whipworms are yet another kind of worms that dogs can suffer from. They inhabit the areas of the small and large intestines. Though they are very small in size they can cause severe damage (diarrhea and abdominal pain). They are very hard to detect, not only because of their small size but also because of their cycling behavior, meaning that a stool sample could give negative results although the infestation is present. In order to detect whipworms, several repeated stool samples may be necessary. Follow up stool samples are also recommended, even after treatment.
You can get rid of worms in dogs by using certain dog deworming medications. They come in various forms like liquids, chewable tablets, etc. Most dog worm medications contain the same primary substances: Fenbendazole and Pyrantel Pamoate, and they are sold under different brand names.
With its broad spectrum effects, Fenbendazole is usually the first choice for dog owners. It kills many types of dog worms as well as the larvae.
Pyrantel Pamoate is not a broad spectrum medicine, but it is a safer deworming medication that can be given to younger dogs and puppies.
Both of these medications can be found in pet or farm supply stores. In case you can’t find the above medications, you can look for other deworming agents with the same ingredients.
You should give deworming medications to your dog from a very early age as a preventive measure. Also, nursing females should be given the medication twice a month.
However, it is best to consult a veterinarian prior to administering any deworming medication on your own. Your veterinarian may also need to analyze your dog’s stool to find out the exact cause of the disease. He will then suggest the right medication and dosage.