How to Get Rid of Worms in Puppies?
Worms are microscopic parasites that live inside your pet’s body. They cause disease and damage the health of your dog or cat. Most commonly they affect young puppies because their immune systems are still developing, but they can infect older animals too. You may have heard stories about how some pets can’t stay away from certain types of food, water, and other items which contain these parasites. Some people even believe that if their pet eats worms, it will die. However, this isn’t true. Your pet could survive eating worms and not show any symptoms. There are several different kinds of worms, however most common ones are roundworms (round worm), hookworms (hookworm) and whipworms (whiplash).
Roundworms: Round worms can appear anywhere in the digestive tract including the small intestine, large intestines or rectum. These worms are usually harmless, but can cause diarrhea and vomiting. If left untreated, roundworms can lead to weight loss and malnutrition. When ingested, roundworms pass through the GI tract undigested and travel up into the liver where they are excreted in urine.
Other organs affected include the spleen, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts.
Hookworms: Hookworms are tiny worms that resemble little hair worms. They can cause anemia by decreasing the red blood cells. Hookworms are common in areas where there is less clean water. They feed off of the blood in the small intestine and are passed out of the body in feces.
Hookworms enter your body through your skin or by drinking contaminated water.
Whipworms: The smallest of the three, whipworms live and breed in the large intestine. They cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration which can be life-threatening to young pets. An older animal with a weakened immune system will probably experience few other symptoms besides mild stomach pain.
How Do You Get Rid of Worms in Your Dog?
Getting rid of worms is easier than you think. If you suspect your dog has worms, you should take him to the veterinarian immediately; some cases require special medication which your veterinarian can provide. Many pet owners, however, don’t realize their dog has worms until the infestation is severe. If this is the case for you, there are several OTC (over the counter) medications to kill off the worms and prevent further infection. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully; dosage depends on your dog’s size and age. It can take up to several weeks before you notice an improvement in your dog’s health.
How Long Does It Take for a Wormer to Work?
The best way to tell if the medication is working is by monitoring your dog’s poop. Most OTC worm medications should kill off the worms within a few days. If your dog starts throwing up (especially black tar-like liquid) or having diarrhea, then you should contact a veterinarian immediately as this could be a side effect of the medication. In some cases of severe worm infestation, you may not notice any immediate changes in your dog’s behavior or bowel movement. This is fine, however, if no changes are seen within a week or two, you should contact your veterinarian.
How Much Does it Cost to Treat a Dog With Worms?
The average treatment for worms in dogs costs around $40-$70 and can be purchased over the counter. In addition to buying the OTC medication, you will also need to pay a trip to the veterinarian to get a prescription. Depending on your income, this cost can vary significantly.
Does My Insurance Cover Worm Treatment?
Insurance typically does not cover the cost of over the counter medications or visits to the veterinarian. Talk to your insurance provider to find out what your exact coverage is for these services.
What Are the Benefits of Using Medication?
There are a number of benefits to using OTC tapeworm medication. First and foremost, these medications are much cheaper than a visit to the veterinarian (typically $10-$20 for a month supply as opposed to $50-$100). It also allows you to monitor the treatment at home rather than leaving it up to the vet.
What Are the Disadvantages of Using Medication?
While medication is a relatively cheap way to treat your dog’s tapeworms, it does have its downfalls. First and foremost, not all types of medication are approved in all states. Before purchasing any medication for your dog, be sure to check the active ingredients against your state’s regulations. The other main disadvantage of using OTC tapeworm medication is that your veterinarian may not be able to monitor the treatment. In some cases, the medication can cause negative side effects if not used correctly.
My Dog Has Worms.
If you notice any of the signs listed above and are concerned about tapeworms, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. They can give you advice on the best course of treatment and will be able to provide a prescription if needed.
How Do I Prevent My Dog From Getting Tapeworms?
It’s easy to prevent your dog from getting tapeworms. You can start by feeding it a high quality diet with little to no grain content and make sure that it always has access to clean water. In addition to this, you can also treat your yard every couple months with a tapeworm prevention product. This is especially important if you live in an area where foxes, raccoons, or other wild animals come into contact with your pet.
How Much Does Treatment Cost?
The cost of treatment varies depending on the type of medication and how severe the infestation is. Talk to your veterinarian about prices in your area.
In some cases, treatment can be very costly. Medication may cost you $50-$100 for a month supply and visits to the veterinarian will also rack up a hefty bill. Make sure you talk to your insurance company to see what your out of pocket expenses will be.
Sources & references used in this article:
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- Pet roundworms and hookworms: a continuing need for global worming (D Traversa – Parasites & Vectors, 2012 – Springer)
- Role of pet dogs and cats in the transmission of helminthic zoonoses in Europe, with a focus on echinococcosis and toxocarosis (P Deplazes, F van Knapen, A Schweiger… – Veterinary …, 2011 – Elsevier)
- Diagnosis of canine echinococcosis: comparison of coproantigen and serum antibody tests with arecoline purgation in Uruguay (PS Craig, RB Gasser, L Parada, P Cabrera… – Veterinary …, 1995 – Elsevier)
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