Oral vs. Topical Wormers: Which Is Best For Your Dog?

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Oral vs. Topical Wormers: Treating All Kinds Of Worms Found In Dogs

When it comes to keeping your furry friend healthy, preventing and treating worm infections is essential. Worms can cause a range of health issues, from mild discomfort to severe illness, so it’s important to choose the right wormer for your dog. Two common types of wormers are oral and topical, but which one is best for your dog? In this article, we’ll compare oral vs. topical wormers to help you make an informed decision.

Oral wormers are given to your dog by mouth, usually in tablet or liquid form. They work by traveling through your dog’s digestive system and killing any worms they come into contact with. Topical wormers, on the other hand, are applied directly to your dog’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. They are absorbed through the skin and into your dog’s bloodstream, where they kill any worms present. Both types of wormers are effective at treating and preventing worm infections, but there are some key differences to consider.

Understanding Dog Wormers

two sweet dogs

When it comes to protecting your dog and your family’s health from worm infestations, there are two main types of wormers available: oral and topical. Understanding the differences between the two can help you make an informed decision about which type of wormer is best for your dog.

Oral Wormers

Oral wormers come in the form of tablets, chews, or granules that are given to your dog by mouth. These types of wormers are often recommended for dogs who have trouble tolerating topical treatments, as they are less likely to cause skin irritation or other adverse reactions.

Oral wormers work by entering your dog’s bloodstream and killing off any worms or parasites that they come into contact with. They are often recommended for dogs who are at risk of developing worm infestations, or who have already been diagnosed with a worm infestation.

Topical Wormers

Topical wormers come in the form of spot-on treatments that are applied directly to your dog’s skin. These types of wormers are often recommended for dogs who have trouble taking oral medications, and who are not at risk of developing skin irritation or other adverse reactions.

Topical wormers work by spreading over your dog’s skin and killing off any worms or parasites that they come into contact with. They are often recommended for dogs who are at risk of developing flea or tick infestations, as they can also help to prevent these types of parasites from taking hold.

Choosing the Right Wormer for Your Dog

When it comes to choosing the right wormer for your dog, it’s important to consider a few key factors. These may include:

  • Your dog’s age and weight
  • Any existing medical conditions or allergies
  • The type of worm infestation you are trying to prevent or treat
  • Your dog’s lifestyle and risk of exposure to parasites

By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision about whether an oral or topical wormer is best for your dog. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before starting any new worming treatment, and follow their instructions carefully to ensure the best possible outcome for your furry friend.

Best Oral Parasite Preventive For Dogs

oral dog wormers

If you prefer giving your dog medication orally, there are several options available. Oral wormers come in various forms, including tablets and chewable tablets. Some heartworm preventatives also include deworming medication. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of oral wormers to help you decide if they are the right choice for your dog.

Advantages of Oral Wormers

  • Easy to administer: Oral wormers are easy to give to your dog. You can hide them in their food or give them directly to your dog.
  • Effective: Oral wormers are effective in treating and preventing a wide range of worms, including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.
  • Convenient: Oral wormers are often given on a schedule, making it easy to remember when to give them to your dog. Some heartworm preventatives also include deworming medication, so you only need to give your dog one medication.
  • Heartworm prevention: Some oral wormers, like Milbemax and Nexgard Spectra, not only treat and prevent other worms but also prevent heartworm disease.

Disadvantages of Oral Wormers

  • Missed doses: If you forget to give your dog their medication, it can decrease the effectiveness of the treatment.
  • Side effects: Some dogs may experience side effects from oral wormers, including vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
  • Limited spectrum: Some oral wormers, like fenbendazole, only treat certain types of worms and may not be effective against all types of parasites.
  • Need for prescription: Some oral wormers, like heartworm preventatives that include moxidectin, milbemycin oxime, and praziquantel, require a prescription from a veterinarian.

Overall, oral wormers can be an effective and convenient option for treating and preventing worms in your dog. However, it is important to follow the schedule and dosage instructions carefully and monitor your dog for any potential side effects. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best oral wormer for your dog’s specific needs.

Best Dog Wormers:

Topical Treatment For Flea, Tick and Worm Infestation

When it comes to worming your dog, topical wormers are one option you may consider. Topical wormers are applied directly to your dog’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of using topical wormers for your dog.

Advantages of Topical Wormers

One advantage of topical wormers is that they are easy to apply. You don’t need to worry about your dog swallowing a pill or getting a liquid medication down their throat. Simply part your dog’s fur between the shoulder blades and apply the medication directly to their skin. Additionally, topical wormers can be effective against a variety of parasites, including fleas, ticks, mites, lice, and other ectoparasites.

Another advantage of some topical wormers, such as Stronghold, is that they can also prevent heartworm disease. Stronghold contains the active ingredients imidacloprid and selamectin, which not only kill fleas and ticks but also prevent heartworm disease and treat ear mites.

Disadvantages of Topical Wormers

One disadvantage of topical wormers is that they may not be as effective against internal parasites as oral wormers. Topical wormers are designed to kill parasites on the skin and fur and they also get absorbed through the skin, but they may not penetrate deeply enough to reach internal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms.

Another possible disadvantage of topical wormers is that they may not last as long as oral wormers. Some topical wormers, such as Stronghold, need to be applied monthly to provide ongoing protection against fleas, ticks, and heartworm disease. This can be inconvenient for some pet owners who may forget to apply the medication on time.

Finally, some dogs may be sensitive to the ingredients in topical wormers and may experience skin irritation or other side effects. If your dog has a history of skin allergies or other sensitivities, you may want to talk to your veterinarian before using a topical wormer.

Overall, topical wormers can be a convenient and effective option for treating and preventing infestations of fleas, ticks, mites, and other ectoparasites. However, they may not be the best option for all dogs with worms, especially those with internal parasite infestations. If you’re not sure which type of wormer is best for your dog, talk to your veterinarian for advice.

Dog Dewormer For Your Puppy: Special Considerations

When it comes to worming your dog, there are certain special considerations you should keep in mind depending on their age, breed, and health status. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing between oral and topical wormers for your furry friend.

Puppies

Puppies are more susceptible to worms than adult dogs, so it’s important to start a regular worming schedule early on. Most puppies should be wormed every two weeks until they are three months old, and then once a month until they are six months old. After that, they should be wormed every three months.

When choosing a wormer for your puppy, make sure it is safe for their age and weight. Some wormers are not suitable for very young puppies, so always check the label or consult with your vet before administering any medication.

Pregnant Dogs

Pregnant dogs should also be wormed regularly to prevent the transmission of worms to their puppies. However, not all wormers are safe for pregnant dogs, so it’s important to choose a wormer that is specifically labelled as safe for use during pregnancy.

Specific Breeds

Certain breeds of dogs, particularly collies and other herding breeds, may be sensitive to certain types of wormers. This is because these breeds have a genetic mutation that affects their ability to metabolise certain drugs. If you have a collie or other herding breed, it’s important to choose a wormer that is safe for their breed or consult with your vet before administering any medication.

Other breeds, such as Australian Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Long-haired Whippets, may also be more sensitive to certain types of medication. Always check the label or consult with your vet before administering any medication to your dog.

Small Dogs

Small dogs may require a different dosage of wormer than larger dogs. Always check the label or consult with your vet to ensure you are giving your dog the correct dosage based on their weight.

By keeping these special considerations in mind, you can ensure that you are choosing the right wormer for your dog’s individual needs and keeping them healthy and happy.

Side Effects and Risks: Prevention Is The Best Option

When it comes to treating your dog’s worms, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects and risks associated with both oral and topical wormers. While both types of wormers are generally safe and effective, there are some risks you should be aware of.

One of the most common side effects of oral wormers is vomiting. This is usually mild and temporary, but in some cases, it can be more severe. If your dog experiences severe vomiting or other symptoms such as lethargy or seizures after taking an oral wormer, you should contact your vet immediately.

Topical wormers also carry some risks. Some dogs may be sensitive to the ingredients in topical wormers and may experience skin irritation or other allergic reactions. In rare cases, topical wormers can be toxic if ingested, so it’s important to keep them out of reach of your dog.

Another risk to be aware of is the potential for anemia. This is particularly a concern with puppies, as worms can cause significant blood loss and lead to anemia. If you notice symptoms such as pale gums, weakness, or lethargy in your puppy, you should contact your vet right away.

It’s also important to note that while both oral and topical wormers can be effective at treating worms, they may not be effective against all types of worms. Some types of worms, such as tapeworms, may require a different type of treatment, so it’s important to consult with your vet to determine the best course of action for your dog.

Overall, while there are some risks associated with both oral and topical wormers, they are generally safe and effective at treating worms in dogs. By being aware of the potential side effects and risks and working closely with your vet, you can help ensure that your dog stays healthy and worm-free.

Consulting a Veterinarian: Speak To Your Vet About Common Worms

happy golden retriever getting a worming tablet

Before administering any type of wormer to your dog, it is important to consult with a veterinarian. They can provide you with valuable guidance on the best type of wormer for your dog, as well as the correct dosage and frequency of treatment.

In some cases, a prescription may be required for certain types of wormers. Your veterinarian can help you obtain the necessary prescription and ensure that the wormer is safe and effective for your dog.

It is also important to have your dog tested for heartworms before administering any type of wormer. Heartworms are a serious condition that requires specific treatment, and some types of wormers may not be effective against them.

Additionally, it is important to ensure that any wormer you use is approved by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). This ensures that the wormer has been tested for safety and effectiveness, and that it meets certain quality standards.

Overall, consulting with a veterinarian is an important step in ensuring that your dog receives the best possible care when it comes to worming treatment. They can provide you with the guidance and support you need to keep your dog healthy and free from parasites.

happy couple with dog

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Natural Alternatives For Worm Treatment

If you prefer to avoid chemical wormers, there are several natural alternatives that can help keep your dog free from worms. However, it’s important to note that natural remedies may not be as effective as chemical wormers and may require more frequent use.

Natural Dewormers

Some natural dewormers for dogs include:

  • Diatomaceous earth: This is a powder made from fossilized algae that can be added to your dog’s food. It works by dehydrating and killing worms in the digestive tract.
  • Pumpkin seeds: They contain a well known amino acid called cucurbitacin, which can paralyze worms and makes them easier to pass. You can grind up pumpkin seeds and add them to your dog’s food.
  • Coconut oil: This contains lauric acid, which is known to be effective against tapeworms, giardia, and other parasites. You can add coconut oil to your dog’s food or give it to them directly.
  • Carrots: These contain a natural deworming compound called falcarinol. You can feed your dog raw carrots or cook them and add them to their food.

Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help keep your dog’s digestive system healthy and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and parasites. You can give your dog probiotic supplements or feed them foods that are high in probiotics, such as plain yogurt or kefir.

Herbal Remedies

There are several herbs that are believed to have natural deworming properties, including:

  • Wormwood: This herb is known for its ability to expel worms from the digestive tract. However, it should be used with caution as it can be toxic in large amounts.
  • Garlic: This contains sulfur compounds that can help kill parasites. However, it should be used in moderation as it can be toxic in large amounts.
  • Cloves: These contain a compound called eugenol, which has been shown to be effective against several types of parasites. You can add ground cloves to your dog’s food or give them clove oil.

It’s important to note that herbal remedies can be potent and should be used under the guidance of a veterinarian or trained herbalist.

Oral vs. Topical Dewormer For Dogs: A Recap

Choosing the best dog dewormer for your pet can be a daunting task, but it is an essential part of maintaining their overall health. In this article, we’ve compared oral and topical wormers to help you decide which is best for your dog.

When it comes to preventing and treating worm infestations, year-round prevention is key. The Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends year-round prevention for both heartworm disease and intestinal parasites. Nexgard Spectra is a popular option that provides year-round protection against heartworms, fleas, and several types of intestinal worms.

When it comes to choosing between oral and topical wormers, there are pros and cons to each. Oral wormers are easy to administer and often provide broad-spectrum protection against multiple types of worms. Topical wormers can be a good option for dogs who are difficult to pill or have sensitive stomachs.

Ultimately, the best choice for your dog will depend on their individual needs and preferences. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your pet’s health.

As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to stay on top of your dog’s health and ensure they receive regular preventative care. By choosing the right dog dewormer and following your veterinarian’s recommendations, you can help keep your furry friend healthy and happy for years to come.