How to Tell When a Dog Is Recovering From Worms?

Dogs get into a lot of yucky stuff outside, where they can pick up some foul odors and a dirty coat. Unfortunately, our canine companions can also pick up a lot of unpleasant things like parasitic worms while they're digging through the dirt or inspecting that smelly pile of trash. These parasites cause a lot of health problems for dogs, but your veterinarian can prescribe medication to take care of them.

Shar-Pei Pitbull Puppy Laying on Couch
How to Tell When a Dog Is Recovering From Worms?
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Once your dog has gone through the deworming process, he will start recovering from the worms as they die off in his system. That's when you should see his overall health improving for the better. If he still seems ill, though, you'll need to take him to the vet for a checkup.

Intestinal worms in dogs treatment

If your veterinarian thinks that your dog has worms, he will prescribe a medication to take care of any parasitic worms in her system. These medications include fenbendazole, pyrantel, epsiprantel, and praziquantel, all of which are given orally. They kill a variety of worms, including hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Your vet will determine the correct one for your dog by diagnosing the type of worms she has.

Your vet will likely recommend deworming medications if your dog is a puppy, even if she seems healthy because dogs can get worms from their mom when they nurse, according to WebMD. It's a precaution to prevent worms, which can be dangerous for young pups.

Intestinal worms in dogs receiving treatment are usually cleared up after one to two rounds of administering a deworming medication, typically given two-to-three weeks apart. The initial doses kill most adult worms in the system and the second round kills any immature worms that might have remained.

Dead worms in dog poop

Intestinal worms in dogs with treatment may start to show up in your dog's feces. If you see dead worms in dog poop after your pooch does his business, this is perfectly normal. It's a sign that your dog is recovering from the worms. Most deworming medications kill the parasites in your dog's system. After they are killed, they pass naturally through your dog's digestive tract where you might end up seeing the dead worms in dog poop, according to Drugs.com.

If, after a week or more, you continue to see dead worms in dog poop, or worse, live worms, it's time to contact your veterinarian, warns WebMD. Your dog may still have a worm infestation and need an additional treatment or possibly a different type of dewormer to get rid of them.

Not all dewormers work on all types of parasitic worms, so your veterinarian may need to prescribe a different one that specifically targets the type of parasite that your dog suffers from after she inspects the worms under a microscope. Or, she may prescribe more than one medication if more than one type of worm is present.

Your dog seems healthier now

A dog suffering from intestinal worms will exhibit many symptoms of illness. That's because these parasites make her very sick and can cause diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, a bloated stomach, and anemia, according to Banfield Pet Hospital. If your pooch is no longer suffering from these symptoms and seems a bit more like her old self, then your dog is likely recovering from intestinal worms.

Worms may also cause your dog to have a dull coat, be lethargic, and have a poor appetite, warns Cesar's Way. When your pup's appetite is back to normal or close to it, she's energetic, and her coat feels soft, she's well on her way to recovering.

Other signs of a parasite infestation include coughing and live worms coming out of a dog's anus. Once you stop seeing any worms coming out of your dog's anus, this means that she is now recovering from the infestation. As long as you stop seeing dead worms in dog poop, or live ones coming out of your dog's anus, your pooch should be on the road to recovery. And, if your pup isn't coughing, that's a good sign, too.

A note about heartworms

In addition to intestinal worms, heartworms are another type of parasite that can infect your dog's heart rather than his intestines. The bite of an infected mosquito transmits these parasites.

If your veterinarian has diagnosed your dog with a heartworm infestation, he may have a slow road to recovery. That's because heartworms are serious and much easier to prevent with a monthly chewable medication than to cure. Your vet will use an injectable medication like Ivermectin to kill the heartworms in your dog's heart if his bloodwork indicates he has them.

The treatment process takes two months, and you must keep your dog quiet and keep him from exercising during this time and for six months thereafter. When the worms die off, they can cause a blockage in your dog's pulmonary vessels if he is too active or vocal, warns WebMD. Activities like exercise and barking cause your dog's heart to pump faster and blood to flow from his heart, which increases the chances of a blockage.

Once he's worm-free, your dog should be back to his old self, but only your vet can determine this through a blood test. Never assume that your dog has recovered from heartworms without a blood test even if he seems fine because some dogs with heartworms exhibit few symptoms, according to PetMD.