Even the best cared for dog can get themselves infected with worms once in awhile. These irritating parasites can cause quite a bit of trouble for your dog, including a duller coat, lethargy, and really a quite wide array of symptoms that can cause general illness. Lets try 6 ways below to get rid of worms in your dogs now!
What You’ll Need
There’s a lot of different things you can try, but if you’re looking for a comprehensive way to do things you’ll need the following:
These items should pretty much cover your needs in this area. The most important of these is to make sure you have a good vet. If you don’t already have one, don’t just pick one out of the phonebook or off of Google, try to find someone your friends trust with their animals.
Some of these items, particularly the wormwood and diatomaceous earth may be a little bit hard to find depending on your local area, but they’ll be readily available online. It might cost a bit no matter what, but you need to remember that your favorite canine’s life may actually be on the line depending on the type of worm infestation they have.
1. Checking If Your Dog Has Worms
The scary part about worms is that there’s so many different varieties like heartworm, tapeworm, roundworm..., and they can affect your dog in so many different ways. If your dog have worms at all though, you will have some issues if the infestation reaches an advanced stage.
The only sure way is if you notice worms in their vomit or feces. The symptoms have a lot in common with pretty much any other illness, and it’s always a good idea to take your dog to a vet if they’re experiencing any symptoms.
One of the other tell-tale symptoms of worms, particularly those that infect the gastrointestinal tract is “scooting” where a dog has an itchy anus and repeatedly drags it across the floor seeking relief. If this is happening or you can visually identify worms it’s time to take some steps to rectify the situation.
Prevention is the best way to keep off parasites. In particular, there’s a large number of products which can help to prevent your dog from getting heartworms. These nasty parasites will inevitably kill your dog if they are left untreated, and it’s good to be on guard from them.
They’re typically transferred as larvae by mosquitoes, so the preventative medications are definitely a good idea in regions where these annoying insects are common. If you can afford it, though, it’s a good way to go about things.
Other ways to prevent worms include making sure they were dewormed as puppies and maintaining them in a cleanly environment to prevent the parasites in the first place. Eating wildlife is also a common way for dogs to get worms. Unfortunately, however, worms are quite common and we can’t always prevent them from getting to our pets.
3. Try Using Wormwood
Wormwood has been used as an effective antiparasite agent for much of human history, it contains some volatile compounds which do a great job at taking care of worms and other nasty pests which can infect mammals.
Be cautious with the application of it, though, some of those same volatile oils can be quite dangerous in higher concentrations. The recommended dosage for dogs is quite low, start at something like a quarter of a teaspoon and don’t use this medication for more than a couple of days in a row to avoid harming your dog.
Pro tip: Wormwood is very effective, but should be treated like any other strong medication. Make it a last resort if you decide to use it.
Garlic is a rather effective way to handle worms, but it’s primarily useful for those in the gastrointestinal tract and will have little effect on most other types of worms. The easiest way to feed it to your dog is probably to grate or chop it super fine and mix it in with wet food. This can be especially useful if your dog is a picky eater.
Garlic can be given for about a week or so before you should discontinue its use, keep an eye on your dog and see if the symptoms get any better. If they don’t, you’re going to want to take your canine to a vet as you don’t want the infestation to proceed any further than it already has.
Pro tip: Keep an eye on your dog if using garlic, as some dogs may be allergic to it.
5. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a special kind of dirt mined in only a few places that consist of the fossilized remains of small aquatic organisms. It’s commonly used by humans for a wide variety of purposes, and in dogs, it can make an excellent deworming agent.
The method which allows it to take care of parasites is well understood, simply put it’s too fine to harm larger animals but to parasites and arthropods, it’s the equivalent of putting them in a storm of broken glass. It’ll kill them strictly through mechanical action.
If your dog is over 55lbs, try adding one tablespoon per day to their diet and for smaller dogs use a teaspoon within a week it should have sliced down any parasites which might be inhabiting your dog’s GI tract. As always, if symptoms persist it’s time to see a vet as it may be one of the most dangerous types of worm infesting your dog.
6. Add Carrots To Your Dog’s Diet
Chopped carrots?! While they’re quite healthy and something that a dog will certainly wolf down, few of us think of them as an effective medicine. Actually, in the case of a minor infestation carrots can work some wonders.
Chop them kind of roughly, but still in small enough pieces to allow your dog to swallow them. Once they’ve made it to the intestines they’ll act as roughage and sweep out the mucus and possibly many of the offending pests as they pass.
Pro tip: While carrots aren’t quite as effective as some of the other methods, they can easily combine with some of the others. A mixture of diatomaceous earth, garlic, and carrots given for a week will provide a multi-pronged attack against any invaders in your dog’s intestines.
7. Give Milk Thistle During The Deworming
If you’re using some of the agents which can be harsher on a dog, particularly wormwood or garlic it’s important to help keep their liver at a high functioning level. This is where milk thistle seeds come in handy, they work great for keeping up liver health in most mammals and are easy to grind and add to your dog’s food.
There are also commercially available supplements containing this liver-detoxifying seed developed especially for dogs you might want to consider. These formulations will be able to tell you the exact amount of milk thistle to give your dog.
Most people recommend using ¼ teaspoons per 20lbs of your dog’s weight.
Pro tip: Use this in combination with any harsher deworming agents, and extend the usage for a few days after you cease their usage. This isn’t something you want your dog on permanently, but it can help quite a bit during and a bit after the deworming process.
8. See The Vet If Problems Persist For More Than A Week
If your dog is showing signs of gastrointestinal worms and none of the above methods have worked to reduce or stop symptoms, it’s time to see a veterinarian. Your dog could be at serious risk, and your vet will have access to much better deworming procedures than you’ll be able to get over the counter.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that if your dog is showing signs of heartworms, especially a lot of coughing, the above methods will not work. They’re designed to flush worms out of the GI system, and heartworms will kill your canine.
In fact, it may be best to take your dog to the vet in the first place, but if the only problem seems to be GI parasites, you may be okay with home remedies. If in doubt, it’s time to make an appointment as soon as possible.
So now you know how to handle this issue should it come up. It’s always important that we keep an eye on our animal’s health, and these simple measures can help you save a bit of money on veterinary bills if you use them in time. If problems persist or symptoms worsen, go see your vet for more solid, expert advice. We hope that we’ve helped you figure out how to get rid of worms in dogs.
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