It's a disgusting thought, but your snuggly puppy likely has a belly full of worms. Don't feel bad -- it's nothing you did or didn't do; it's part of puppyhood. Strongid, also known as pyrantel, is an effective, popular choice among vets as a deworming medication.
Roundworm and hookworms are common in dogs because they're easy to contract. All a dog has to do is ingest infected soil or poop, which is as simple as licking a paw after she stepped in an infected area. A pregnant or lactating dog easily passes the parasite on to her puppies. Infection with these parasites is so normal in young puppies that veterinarians usually administer deworming medication as a matter of practice to young pups.
How Strongid Works
Intestinal parasites worm their way through your dog's bloodstream before coming to rest in his intestines, where they'll use tiny teeth or suckers to latch on and feed from their host. Strongid doesn't kill worms inside your dog's body, but acts to move them along to die in the outside world where they can't survive.
As a neuromuscular blocker, pyrantel has two effects on intestinal parasites: It forces the worms to release their grip from the intestines, and it paralyzes them so they're passed in your dog's stool. Once outside the hospitable environment of your dog's body, the worms die. Your dog's intestines don't absorb Strongid well, so he's unaffected by its neuromuscular blocking powers.
Strongid is available in tablets, suspension and an oral paste, making it easy to administer to virtually any dog or puppy. Since the medication is effective only in the intestines, it requires two doses, approximately two to four weeks apart, to ensure any migrating worms have a chance to make it to the intestines to be treated.
Side Effects and Interactions
According to Dr. Dawn Ruben of Pet Place, most pets tolerate pyrantel well. A few animals vomit after taking the medication, and it does react with a few other drugs, including other worming medications, such as piperazine, levamisole and morantel, which may increase side effects. Your dog may strain or experience diarrhea when he passes the worms, which you will see in his stool. Some may be alive, but they will die from the effects of the Strongid. The medication is safe for pregnant and lactating dogs; vets prescribe it often because it can minimize the impact of worms on puppies.