A routine part of dog ownership that when overlooked can quickly turn into a very expensive issue, deworming is often something we turn to our vets for advice.
After COVID, it can be difficult to get back into a routine so perhaps you’ve found yourself glancing at the calendar and realizing that you have missed your dog’s regular worming schedule.
No worries, usually this is easily rectified by a quick trip to purchase the correct deworming treatment. But how much exactly does dog deworming cost?
How often should I deworm my dog?
Depending on the age of your dog, you could find yourself needing to deworm them incredibly regularly. It is recommended that for puppies you should give a dewormer every two weeks until they are eight weeks old. After that, you should deworm them again at six months old where you can then switch to an adult deworming schedule.
For adult dogs, you should be deworming them every three months if you want to use a preventative deworming schedule. However, it is also advised that you take your dog to the vet annually for a fecal worming test and then worm accordingly to the results of the test.
Does a dewormer prevent worms?
A dewormer does not prevent your dog from developing worms however, you can purchase a preventative kind of medication that can prevent the development of worms. This is different from a regular dewormer and you can usually purchase these at your vet’s office or a pet pharmacy.
What are the symptoms of a dog with worms?
Depending on the type of worms your dog has and the number of worms, the symptoms can vary a little. Intestinal worms are rarely fatal but if an infestation is left long enough it can become much more difficult to eliminate. The most common symptoms of intestinal worms in dogs are loss of appetite, a dull coat, poor growth, intestinal upset, and the coat standing up off your dog’s body. Unfortunately with some kinds of worms if the infestation is left untreated the symptoms can be more severe and include loss of consciousness, organ damage, or even death.
Can puppies develop worms?
Puppies can unfortunately inherit intestinal worms from their mothers. They can also develop worms by themselves if exposed to them. This is why it is recommended for puppies to begin their deworming treatments from as young as two weeks old and to continue deworming every two weeks until they are six months old. If your puppy does develop worms the symptoms will be diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, poor growth, organ damage, and even in some cases death.
If your puppy develops a case of hookworms or roundworms you must take extra precautions to fully deworm them. This is because these species of worms can also infect your human family members.
What is the average dog deworming cost?
The average cost of a vet visit is between $50 and $75 depending on where you live. This will be the starting cost for a vet appointment to discuss any health issues your dog has and to evaluate your dog’s symptoms to possibly investigate a worm infestation. The cost of a fecal examination is between $50 and $150 depending on the severity of the case, the type of worms, and the tests that take place.
A full course of puppy deworming treatment can cost between $50 and $150 depending on the puppy’s size and whether or not they currently have worms.
For an adult dog, deworming treatment is normally between $50 and $100 if you are just using a regular deworming treatment and your dog does not have a high worm burden.
If it is suspected that your dog has heartworms then your vet will need to order bloodwork, x-rays, and potentially some other tests to determine how serious the case is. The diagnostic tests usually start at $1,000 and can go up higher if they suspect your dog is suffering from a severe worm infection.
Luckily, many insurance policies will cover most of the diagnostic exams needed when investigating a dog with a potential worm infection. Some policies also cover the cost fully or partially for a regular vet-prescribed deworming program so it can be useful to look into your policy when considering deworming schedules.
If you are fortunate, your vet will also offer a discounted package that includes the price of annual vaccinations and a full deworming schedule for your dog. With the rising cost of living, many vets are offering either payment plans or discount packages for their clients so it is worth asking your vet for information about any programs they offer.
Symptoms to look for after deworming your dog
Depending on the age of your dog and the number of worms it had, you may notice some of these symptoms after you have dewormed your dog.
In your dog’s poop, you may see dead or dying worms which can appear a little shocking if you are not expecting it. Bag up these poops and dispose of them somewhere you know your dog cannot get to them. Your dog may also experience some diarrhea especially if they are a puppy.
If your dog had a very high worm burden it may also appear a little lethargic, experience a loss of appetite, and also vomiting. When many worms die at once in your dog’s intestine it can cause inflammation of the intestinal lining. This usually resolves itself after a few days and is nothing to worry about however if symptoms seem extreme or prolonged over a week it is best to call your vet for advice.
Are there effective natural dewormers?
No. You cannot worm your dog with any natural dewormers and experience any biological effects. For proper, effective deworming you must purchase dewormers from either your vet or a pet pharmacy even if it seems a little costly. These deworming treatments are the only way to ensure your dog is being properly dewormed and will not develop a high worm burden over time.