“Can I use a de-wormer on my heavily pregnant dog?”
I recently came across that question on a forum and thought it needed answering, especially since the wrong answer could be so detrimental to the dog’s health.
Deworming dogs is one of those things that owners should not try to do themselves.
The online world wants you to believe that deworming dogs is as simple as getting a broad spectrum product and giving it to the dog.
That is not the case.
Deworming dogs is so much more than that, and if an owner doesn’t know what they’re doing, they either won’t treat the worms or they can harm their dog.
Related: What are the chances that an indoor dog contracts heartworm if they are not on a preventative medication?
Can I use a de-wormer on my heavily pregnant dog?
As I said above, I recently came across a question on a forum about a heavily pregnant dog with worms in her stool.
To my dismay, the owner was asking what kind of dewormer could be used on the dog.
The answer to that is none of them.
This is an especially good example of why it’s important to see the vet if your dog has worms.
In this case,attempting to deworm the dog could not only result in the worms NOT being properly treated; it could actually harm the unborn pups.
Properly deworming dogs takes experience, testing, and knowledge of the right deworming agent to give.
If a dog presents with worms, taking him to the vet is the only real way to be 100% sure that the worms are properly treated.
A stool sample will be taken to determine which worm is present and if any other worms are present. After that, a deworming protocol will be prescribed that best suits the worms in question.
A follow-up appointment will be scheduled – which should be kept – to be sure that all worms in the dog’s stool have been destroyed.
It is both unsafe and not as effective to attempt to treat worms without knowing which kind they are.
In general, it’s a good idea to see the vet whenever anything is going on INSIDE the dog’s body.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s dig into some more frequently asked questioned related to deworming pregnant dogs.
READ ➔ Heartworm in dogs: Everything you wanted to know
Frequently Asked Questions about Deworming Pregnant Dogs
Keep in mind that the answer to all of these questions will always include “talk to your vet.” The below FAQs are more for informational purposes and don’t replace your vet’s advice.
1. When should I deworm my pregnant dog?
Vets recommend bringing your pregnant dog in for deworming about 10 days before her due date.
2. Can I deworm a nursing dog?
Yep! In fact, vets recommend deworming a nursing dog about every three weeks while she is nursing.
3. Should I deworm my dog before breeding her?
Yes, absolutely (again, with the help of your vet). Deworming your dog BEFORE she gets pregnant, preferably within about a week of mating, is recommended.
Of course, your vet will also recommend repeating it during her pregnancy as well as after the pups are born.
4. Can you overdose a puppy on dewormer?
While this question has more to do with puppies than pregnant moms, it’s still an important one to consider if your mama dog is nursing.
Yes, like all medications, it’s entirely possible to overdo it. That’s why including your vet in your treatment regimen is so important.
5. What deworming medication will my vet use?
While there are a few different medications, vets typically use Fenbendazole for pregnant dogs because it’s one of the safest.
This drug works well on pretty much all types of worms, including roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.
6. Are there any side effects to deworming medication?
While any medication has the potential for side effects, deworming drug side effects are typically pretty mild in the average healthy dog.
However, as the worms die off, they can cause potentially fatal blood clots. Again, this is why it’s so important to let a vet deworm your pregnant dog.
Deworming Dogs or Any Other Internal Treatments Need a Vet
It can be tempting to hit the internet for a source of a cheap dewormer or some holistic essential oil remedy for deworming dogs and other internal issues, but it is a dangerous game to play.
If you find a treatment online, chances are it’s from a company who really wants you to buy their product or from some person whose grandmother used to do XYZ to treat worms.
Of course, a veterinary appointment and treatment for worms can cost a little money, but it’s the only way to ensure adequate, effective, and safe treatment.
Deworming dogs is not something any owner should attempt on their own. As a former employee in the veterinary workforce, I can say this with certainty.
The best course of action is always to see the vet if you suspect your dog has worms.