What Are the Side Effects of Worm Medicine for Dogs?

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No matter how well you care for your canine, it's likely that at some point in their life your dog will get worms. That's because worms are one of the most common health problems in dogs. There are five general types of worms that dogs can contract: round worms, tapeworms, whipworms, heartworms, and hookworms.

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Some of these parasites are more devastating than others, but over time all of them can become a source of poor health and discomfort for your companion animal. For this reason, it is important to recognize the side effects of the various worm medications. Once you do, you can make an educated decision about whether to treat worm medicine side effects as an emergency or as a worrisome but manageable event.

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Side effects of worms in dogs

Before looking at the possible side effects of worm medication, it's helpful to discuss signs that your dog may have worms. Keep in mind that the side effects of worms in dogs can be numerous and may vary depending on the kind of worm your pet is infected with. Dogs with intestinal worms may appear lethargic, have distended stomachs, vomit, lose weight, experience diarrhea, or become dehydrated.

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If you think your dog might have worms, it's important to take them to the vet so they can be properly diagnosed. Don't try to figure out on your own if your pet has worms. Although tapeworms can be detected relatively easily by looking at your dog's stool, other types of parasitic worms are usually diagnosed by examining a stool sample under a microscope.

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Worm medicine side effects

Once you have treated your animal, the symptoms will eventually abate. Unfortunately, while it's vital to treat your pet, no dog anti-worm medicine is completely free of side effects, which is why it is important to recognize how worm medication may potentially impact your pet.

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Possible side effects including vomiting (with or without visible worms), worms eliminated in their bowel movement, a small amount of drooling, or a moderate amount of diarrhea. These effects shouldn't be severe and should abate in 24 hours. If the side effects don't subside after 24 hours or you have questions about their severity, contact your veterinarian for professional advice.

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Can you overdose on worming tablets?

De-worming medication, whether it's in the form of tablets or an oral medication, is prescribed based on your dog's age and weight so it would be difficult for your dog to receive an overdose. If your dog receives an overdose she may experience lethargy, severe vomiting, excessive drooling, shaking or even seizures. However, these side effects are very rare. If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately contact your veterinarian. While some dog owners may be tempted to try a home remedy to treat their dog for worms, treatment for worms is a serious undertaking and trying a homemade cure could do more harm than good.

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Heartworms in dogs

Heartworms, just as the name implies, are worms that infect the heart. These worms are contracted from carrier mosquitoes. If you live in a warm climate your dog is more likely to become infected than other dogs that live in cool climates. However, as long as your area has mosquitoes, your dog runs the risk of contracting heartworms.

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Interestingly, though heartworms are one of the deadliest parasites that dogs can contract, they are also one of the most preventable. Veterinarians often prescribe monthly preventive medications, such as Heartgard Rx and Interceptor Rx without known side-effects. Another medication is ProHeart Rx. It's an injection that last either six or 12 months, depending on whether the clinic carries ProHeart 6 or ProHeart 12.

Sick dog.
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Treatment of active heartworm infections is a complex process that requires multiple steps and all complications need to be discussed with your veterinarian. However if left untreated a heartworm infection will progress to heart failure and death. It is important for a heartworm infestation to be treated under close veterinary supervision.

In summary

Worms in dogs are a common health problem, but the condition can be treated and even prevented in some cases. While worm medicine side effects may be impossible to avoid, they are generally manageable.

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