What treatments for worms in dogs are available?
It’s essential that you give your dog regular de-worming treatment, especially if you have children. Puppies are particularly high risk as they can have high levels of infection.
Always consult your vet on the best treatment for your dog. There are numerous types of deworming medication available which prevent and treat some or all types of intestinal parasites together. These can be administered by injection, tablet, or through spot-on treatments. In the case of pet shop products, check you are giving the correct dose for your dog’s body weight and check which type of worm is controlled by each treatment. Effective flea prevention treatment should also stop your dog from contracting tapeworms.
Specific medication may be required to prevent mothers from passing worms onto their young as routine deworming is not always adequate. Talk to your vet about this.
A single treatment often won’t completely get rid of all worms in your pet’s body. In cases of toxocara canis roundworms and hookworms, fresh larvae can enter the intestine after deworming – so repeat treatment will be necessary to cure the infection. You often won’t see dead worms in the stool (they can be digested!). Many worming medications are still effective even if your dog vomits after a tablet has been given – check with your vet whether an additional dose is needed.
Bear in mind that dogs can also become infected with worms that live in the heart or lungs which require different medication. Some types of lungworm are common in some areas of the UK, and dogs which eat slugs or snails are especially prone. Special treatments are available; so ask your vet whether treatment is needed in your area.
If you take your dog abroad, follow the DEFRA recommendations, and check with your vet about any other disease threats in the area you are visiting.
How often should I worm my dog?
Puppies need worming regularly, often until they are six months old – ask your vet’s advice on how best to use their products. Adult dogs need worming at least four times a year, or more frequently if there are young children in the household. Females also need worming when they are pregnant, feeding pups or 30 days after a season. Always ask for your vet’s advice on worming and frequency.
It’s also important to always clean up after your dog and dispose of faeces, especially in your own garden where numbers of eggs can build up.
What is the cost of worming my dog?
Costs vary between preventative treatments but should cost no more than £40 to £60 per year.
It’s a small price to pay for keeping your family and your pet happy and healthy.