As unpleasant as it is, intestinal parasites such as worms are pretty common in dogs. Dogs get internal parasites because they often eat indiscriminately, and they may eat an infected rodent — a common carrier of worms — or they may eat raw, uncooked meat which may have worm larvae.
If there is a good thing about worms, it's that they live on the inside of our animal friends. But this means they do exit the body occasionally. When you see them outside of the body, they may look like grains of rice on the dog's rear-end. When you notice them, it's time for treatment.
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According to the American Kennel Club, there are five main types of worms that commonly affect dogs: roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, and heartworms. Worms survive in their hosts by attaching to the intestinal wall and then taking the nutrients that the host consumes. You don't want to leave worms untreated, because that means the worms are getting the calories, vitamins, and nutrients that your dog is supposed to be getting.
Deworming puppies — what to expect
Worms should always be treated, because if they are allowed to go on it could seriously affect your puppy's health. It's normal for animals to have some parasites — even humans — but because a puppy is so small, a worm infection can overwhelm them.
When you're deworming puppies, what to expect is pretty standard from puppy to puppy. A dewormer medication is given, which works by killing the adult parasites living in your pet's intestines. If your puppy still has worms after deworming, Canine Weekly says it may be necessary to give deworming medication more than once before every adult parasite is dead; you target the adults so eventually there is no more egg laying. If you have more than one dog in your house, you'll have to take care that your puppy does not become reinfected.
Deworming medication is often a powder that is sprinkled on food, or a chewable tablet. The medications are available over the counter or by prescription. If you know the type of worm your puppy has, you can choose a medication specific to that worm. However, if you choose incorrectly, you may find your puppy still has worms after deworming. There are also "broad spectrum" dewormers that are effective against multiple types of intestinal worms.
Check with your vet to determine what type of deworming medication is correct for your dog. Your vet can may ask for a stool sample to get the correct medicine into your dog, especially if your puppy still has worms after deworming.
Dog reaction to worming tablets
Medications that are commonly given to dogs are generally recognized as safe. However, a dog reaction to worming tablets is possible. Reference says that gastrointestinal symptoms are the most common side effects after deworming a dog. Gastrointestinal issues mean vomiting, diarrhea, or a general lack of appetite.
Reference says that vomiting or having diarrhea is pretty common, because the body is reacting to medication that can be fairly strong in order to counter the parasitic infection. More severe side effects may include salivation, muscle twitching, and seizures. Keep an eye out for these or other serious side effects so you can get your dog treatment right away if she needs it.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.