Worming Dogs, what you need to know.
I recently wormed all the dogs in our kennel so I thought it would be good to post about dogs and worms. I am not a veterinarian but have many dogs and have done so for a long time. Therefore I am fairly familiar with dog issues, and worming dogs is one of those. This is not a warm and fussy topic, but it is something all dog owners should be aware of. I look at it as not a big deal – just part of the dog world.
How can you tell if your dog has worms and what can you do about it? We worm our dogs on a schedule because then we know we have headed off a potential problem. Additionally when we have a litter of pups we always worm the pups and the mother dog. If a dog has worms it is not uncommon to see them in the dogs stool. If the dog vomits they can also be seen there if they are present in a dog. A dog can have worms that you cannot see. Periodically I will take a stool sample to my vet to have them check it. You cannot see worm eggs in the stool but your vet will be able to tell you if they are there. If you are concerned the vet can also perform a physical exam of the dog.
If you have multiple dogs and one has worms generally they all have worms, as it is something passed around. This is why we worm our dogs in a preventative fashion. Pups get wormed twice before the age of 7 weeks and adult dogs get wormed yearly. In the adult dogs, if we notice a problem such as worms in the stool, etc. then we will worm it again during that time period. Also I may drop off a stool sample to my vet just to have a check done and call for the results.
How do dogs get worms? One way is from another dog. Our dogs are exercised and able to run free in a large fenced in area so they have access to grass, dirt, and toys that other dogs have also had access to. And they have the opportunity to dig holes. Every so often we have to fill in all the holes so we don’t lose the lawn mower, lol. I have young dogs who love to dig and will get holes big enough to get into them; they just have a big dirt party. And in that dirt there can be things that they want to eat or put in their mouth. Worm eggs can be in the dirt. For me I want my dogs to have that free time and be able to romp and run freely and play in the grass and dirt. So that is one reason why we worm our dogs.
How do I worm a dog? I have used different methods over the years. There are pros and cons to the different methods. Liquid worming medicine can be put in a needleless syringe and given through the dog’s mouth. This is the method I use when worming a litter of pups. Because the pup is use to sucking and this method is fast, and the pups are small and easy to handle. Follow the dosage recommendation on the bottle, fill the needleless syringe and place the syringe in the pup’s mouth along the side of the teeth and plunge the syringe. I quickly rub the pup’s throat and it swallows. Read the worming medicine dosage directions for when to do a follow up worming and record this information in the dogs shot records. That is important because as time goes on you won’t remember when you last wormed the dog. For adult dogs I like to use the pills or granules. I put the granules or pills in a ball of meat and they take it like a treat. If you use granules you will have to use a little more meat and mix it up so it does not fall apart out of the meat. Ground meat works best for granules. I do this type of worming before the dogs are fed because if they are hungry they are more likely to quickly accept the meat laced with worming medication.
So don’t be afraid of the issue and take preventative action to protect your dog.