Deworming Dogs and Puppies
Deworming Adult Dogs
Most veterinarians recommend that adult dogs be dewormed only when there is
specific reason to do so, such as when eggs or parasites are found during a
fecal examination. Dogs can also be kept on a yearlong heartworm preventive
that also protects against many of the intestinal parasites. All dogs should
have a fecal examination done at least once a year.
Most dogs carry ascarids as encysted larvae, but intestinal infestation by
the adult worm is rare in the healthy dog. Hookworms are likely to be a problem
in adults only during periods of stress. Only milbemycin (Interceptor) is
effective against encysted hookworm larvae.
Whipworms are a frequent cause of acute and chronic diarrhea in adult dogs.
They are difficult to diagnose on routine fecal examination. Eradication
requires the use of specific agents not commonly used for other worms.
Tapeworms are common in dogs but, fortunately, cause few symptoms. The worm
segments are easy to detect in the stool. Threadworms are not common. Very few
agents are effective against this parasite.
How to Control Worms
The life cycle of most worms is such that the possibility of reinfestation
is great. To keep worms under control, you must destroy the eggs and larvae
before they reinfest the dog. This means good sanitation and maintaining clean,
Dogs should not be kenneled with dirt runs, which provide ideal conditions
for seeding eggs and larvae. A watertight surface, such as cement, is the
easiest to keep clean. Gravel is a good substitute. It provides effective
drainage and allows for easy removal of stools. Hose down each kennel or run daily and allow
it to dry in the sun.
Remove stools daily from runs and pens. Lawns should be cut short and
watered only when necessary. Stools in the yard should be removed every