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Dogs & Worm Medications

By Kate Harris
 
Dogs are constantly exposed to harmful parasites. Some of those parasites are zoonotic, meaning they can pass from animals to humans. Regular administration of worm medications under the guidance of a veterinarian can prevent worm infestations in dogs and keep people exposed to the dog free from disease.

Worm Types

There are three main categories of worms that affect dogs: roundworms, tapeworms and flatworms. Roundworms are microscopic worms that include hookworms, whipworms, heartworms and lungworms. Tapeworms are present in the intestines of dogs and usually occur after a dog eats an infected rodent. Flatworms hook to the dog’s intestines, lungs and liver and are also called flukes.

Worm Medications

There are many choices when it comes to worm medications. Over-the-counter de-wormers and worm preventatives vary in availability by geographic location. Prescription de-wormers and preventatives are the standard choice of veterinarians. Each prescription medication targets a different worm or set of worms. Interceptor, Sentinel and Advantage Multi prevent heartworms and kill roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. Iverhart Plus, Tri-Heart Plus and Heartguard Plus prevent heartworms and kill roundworms and hookworms. Heartguard, Revolution and Proheart 6 prevent heartworms.

Administration

Method of administration depends on the worm medication. Interceptor, Sentinel, Heartguard, Heartguard Plus, Tri-Heart Plus, Iverhart Plus and Iverhart Max are all chewable tablets that are given once a month. Revolution and Advantage Multi are topical medications that are applied monthly. Proheart 6 is an injectable medication administered by veterinarians. The dosage of each worm medication depends on the weight of the dog. Over-the-counter worm medications, include chewable tablets, pastes, liquids and powders.

Usage

The goal of worm medication is to prevent worm infestations or treat very mild cases. To maintain the effectiveness of worm medications, they must be given on a regular basis.

Considerations

In addition to worm medications, common preventative measures should be taken to fully protect your dog. Dogs come into contact with worms through contaminated feces of other animals, as well as eating bugs and eating other small animals. Since heartworms are transmitted through mosquito bites, protecting your dog from exposure to mosquitoes can significantly reduce their chance of contracting heartworms.
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