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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, dry quarters.

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 day.

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WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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