No one likes worms and parasites, but they are an unfortunate part of life, especially for dogs who may pick them up while exploring the outdoors. These yucky critters can cause a variety of medical issues for your pooch, but they don't have to put a damper on your pup's health because there are plenty of deworming medications to get rid of them in a flash.
What Should I Expect After Deworming My Dog?
Unfortunately, there may be a few unpleasant side effects of deworming a dog after you administer the medication your veterinarian recommends, but most will be mild and should pass within a few days, and then your pup will be feeling as good as new. If the temporary symptoms don't pass or seem to get worse, you may need to seek veterinary care.
Dog deworming medications
If your veterinarian suspects that your dog has worms, he may prescribe medication to get rid of them. You may also see worms in puppy poop or your dog's poop that may indicate a worm infestation, warns Banfield Pet Hospital. Your vet can diagnose the worms by examining your dog's poo under a microscope if he suspects that she has intestinal worms. He might also give her a blood test if he thinks she has heartworms, which are treated with drugs like ivermectin.
Deworming medications are typically administered by mouth and kill off or impair a wide variety of intestinal worms like tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms without harming your dog. These medications, including epsiprantel, fenbendazole, and praziquantel, all work on a variety of internal parasitic worms and are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in dogs, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual.
Once the worms in your dog's body are dead or unable to function, your dog's digestive system naturally excretes them. The deworming process may have to be repeated, though, to kill off both the adult worms and the eggs that remain.
Side effects of deworming a dog
After you give your pup a deworming medication, you might notice either whole worms or parts of worms in your adult dog's poop or worms in your puppy's poop. These worms are one of the completely normal, although a bit unpleasant, side effects of deworming a dog, according to Drugs.com. The good thing is that it means the medication is working to eliminate those pests from your dog's system.
It is also normal if your dog or puppy is pooping a lot after deworming. A possible side effect of these medications is diarrhea, according to petMD. Your dog may also vomit or be somewhat lethargic after being treated for worms. If this lasts for more than 24 to 48 hours, contact your vet to ensure that your pup isn't having an abnormal reaction or needs supportive care, recommends petMD. These are usually the main side effects of deworming a dog.
Dewormer overdose symptoms
If you follow your veterinarian's directions when giving your dog his medication, he should be fine and not experience any dewormer overdose symptoms. Unfortunately, it is possible for a dog to overdose on deworming medication if he's given a dose that's too large for his size. Also, if your dog is genetically predisposed to being sensitive to ivermectin, a common drug used to treat both intestinal parasites and heartworms, he could experience potentially life-threatening dewormer overdose symptoms.
After you or your veterinarian give your dog a deworming medication, if you notice symptoms like drooling, vomiting, tremors, seizures, or unsteadiness, he will need immediate care, warns petMD. Most care focuses on supportive care for these symptoms and flushing as much of the medication out of his body as possible.
Deworming puppies: what to expect
Part of your puppy's routine care usually involves giving her deworming medication during her first few months of life. That's because puppies can become infected with these worms while still in the womb or by nursing from their mother if she is infected.
When deworming puppies, what to expect can be scary because you don't want to hurt your puppies, but these medications are typically very safe, assures WebMD. Your vet may recommend starting a deworming medication at four to six weeks of age and every few weeks until they are around four months old and then once at six months old and when they turn one. This prevents the worms from affecting a puppy's growth and nutrition. Plus, the medications are relatively safe for most puppies over four weeks old.
After deworming puppies, what to expect includes some possible upset tummy issues like diarrhea and vomiting, according to VetInfo. That means that if your puppy is pooping a lot after deworming, this is a normal reaction. If this lasts for more than 24 to 48 hours, contact your veterinarian because your puppy could quickly become dehydrated from the loss of fluid due to diarrhea or vomiting.
You may also find parts of the worms or whole worms in puppy poop after a deworming. This is also normal and is just your little one's body getting rid of the dead worms. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling any feces from your dog, as some intestinal worms can be transmitted to people.