Pyrantel pamoate is one of the most widely used de-worming medications prescribed for intestinal parasites in puppies and is also used in adult dogs. The medication is found in many popular de-worming veterinary formulas as well as heartworm prevention formulas that include intestinal parasite control. Pyrantel pamoate is the active medication in veterinary formulas such as Nemex, RFD Liquid Wormer and Strongid.
Pyrantel pamoate treats roundworm and hookworm infections in dogs. These are among the most common types of intestinal parasites that infect dogs. Roundworms are often visible in your dog's stool, if your dog is infected. They can reach eight inches in length and are often described as looking like a piece of spaghetti. Hookworms are similar to roundworms, but attach to the dog's intestines and suck blood. Hookworm infections often lead to anemia in puppies.
Pyrantel pamoate de-worms dogs by affecting the nervous system of intestinal parasites. The parasites are paralyzed by the medication and lose their grip on the dog's intestinal lining. Soon after this, the parasites die and leave the dog's body in the feces. Dogs who are being treated should be encouraged to drink extra water to help soften stool.
Roundworms and hookworms migrate through a dog's body before stopping in the pet's intestines. Because of this, pyrantel pamoate must be given in two to three doses over a few weeks to effectively de-worm a dog that is infected with these intestinal parasites. Pyrantel pamoate should not be given to puppies younger than three weeks old, unless prescribed by a veterinarian.
While some de-worming medications are not considered safe for use in sick animals, most veterinarians will prescribe pyrantel pamoate for ill dogs that need to be de-wormed. The medication is available over the counter, but a veterinarian should be consulted before the medication is used for a dog who is not in optimal health. In most instances, the drug is administered to dogs at 5mg per pound. The medication is sold in tablet, liquid and paste form.
Considered to be very safe for use in dogs, pyrantel pamoate has rarely had some side effects. The most common side effect is vomiting. Symptoms of overdose or reaction to the medication include loss of balance, rapid panting, facial swelling, hives, pale gums, sudden diarrhea and shock. You should call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect a reaction.