What to expect after deworming your dog

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Dogs are curious animals and they like to explore just about everything with their mouths. Unfortunately, this often means they pick up a few undesirables along the way. Intestinal parasites are common canine passengers so regularly worming dogs is important to help keep your pet healthy.

Fortunately, dog worming (sometimes known as deworming) is quite straightforward. There are a lot of treatment options available, the most common being tablets and spot-ons. But, once you’ve found the right product for your pet and given them the treatment, what happens next? Find out what to expect after your dog has been wormed.

The first few hours after deworming your dog

If you’ve given your dog a tablet, try to make sure they have definitely swallowed it, and not squirreled it away in their cheeks to be spat out when your back is turned! As with all tablets, dogs can occasionally vomit shortly after taking the dose and can bring the tablet back up again. If this happens ensure you report this to your vet, ask their advice about when and how best to de-worm your dog.

How long do dog worming tablets take to work?

Most treatments get to work rapidly, killing intestinal worms starting from around 2 to 6 hours after administering the de-wormer.

Will my dog or puppy pass worms after deworming?

Different dog wormers act in different ways. Some paralyse and kill the worms; in which case you may see worms in your dog’s poop. While this can be unpleasant, it is actually a good thing as it means the worms are no longer living inside your pet!

Other wormers kill and sometimes break up the worms, so you may not see whole worms in your dog’s faeces. Although if there are very large numbers of worms in their system, they may still be visible. Puppies and adult dogs with very high numbers of worms may even vomit up worms. If you are concerned about any of your dog’s symptoms, always speak to your vet.

What if I see live worms after worming?

After worming your pet, your dog may pass out dead worms and this is completely normal and nothing to worry about. Sometimes, they may show some slight movement, such as a flicking motion, but the worms will go on to die.

Note that different worming products act on different types of worms, so be sure to check the product you’re using works on the type of worms you are concerned about.

Keeping your dog healthy after worming

Great, you’ve wormed your dog. Job done, right? Unfortunately, your dog is still at risk of picking up worms. This is because most worming products only kill the worms that are already inside your dog. Dogs can easily pick up new worm infections from the environment, so they need to be wormed regularly.

It’s recommended that you worm your dog at least every three months. If your vet recommends monthly worming this may be because your dog is a hunter or scavenger, or lives with children.

Why should I deworm my dog?

While worms rarely cause serious health problems (except in the case of  lungworm, a different type of parasitic worm which requires a specific wormer), they can leave your dog feeling less than their best.

This is because intestinal worms live in your dog’s intestinal tract, feeding on their precious blood and nutrients. Symptoms of worms include, scooting (when your dog rubs its bottom on the ground), a dull coat, weight loss, low energy and diarrhoea.

Young puppies are most at risk and left untreated a worm burden (the number of worms carried by the host) can lead to anaemia, malnourishment, and intestinal blockage. Heavy worm burdens in puppies can even result in death.

What’s more, some worms, such as roundworms (also known as Toxocara), can be passed onto humansToxocara can cause serious issues particularly for children. If the worm larvae migrate through the child’s body and end up in the brain or eye it can, in rare cases, cause seizures and blindness.

Luckily, regular dog worming can protect your pet and your family. It’s easy to do and it is the best way to keep nasty invaders at bay.

Did you know...?

If your dog has freshly passed faeces, it’s not usually a Toxocara hazard. While roundworm eggs are normally present in the faeces of infected dogs, the eggs take approximately two weeks to mature before becoming infectious.

For this reason, it’s important to clear up after your dog quickly and dispose of the faeces properly. This is true even for puppies as they may already be infected with roundworms from their mother.

For more information on effective worming treatments, speak to your vet.

Want to know more?

Symptoms of worms in cats and kittens

How often you should worm your cat

How dogs get worms

Worming your puppy

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