Your vet is your best source of information about vet care. But this is what we do.
Diarrhea can be caused by a host of things: change of routine, change of water supply, too much water, too much food, bad food, and parasites.
All puppies (and adults) need to be dewormed regularly. Your breeder should have given you a copy of her deworming schedule and should be actively deworming puppies. No matter how sanitized an environment is, parasites can be transmitted in mother’s milk, the ground, the water supply, other dogs, and surrounding wildlife. Puppies need fecal checks, specifically before they are shipped, and they need to be dewormed.
Some puppies are more susceptible to parasites, some parasites are more resistant to treatment.
If we get loose stools or the dog starts to lose weight, we test/treat off schedule. If fecal tests find anything, we treat it. Fecal tests are NOTORIOUS for false negatives. It’s not about the skill of the tester, it’s just some parasites are difficult to detect. Dewormers are pretty innocuous — meaning they shouldn’t hurt the puppy — and they can do a world of good.
Adults @ Wayeh get Ivormec for monthly heartworm prevention and deworming most of the time. But we also try to do a heavy deworming Spring & Fall with another drug to prevent parasites developing resistance to the same chemical month after month. Also we use DE (food-grade diatomaceous earth) as a mechanical wormer.
Q: Should I treat anyway with a fecal negative?
A: Maybe so.
Prevention schedules are not always 100% effective. Your puppy can pick up parasites despite your rigorous efforts at prevention. And the drugs we use for prevention are often not strong enough to TREAT parasites once your puppy has them. Fecal tests are also notorious for false negatives. The test says there are no parasites, but there really are. Vet offices can do a number of tests from fecal floatations to giardia snaptests. The giardia tests are very reliable. The fecal floats are not. Some parasites are just hard to find.
So if your puppy has been on a prevention schedule and you have eliminated as many variables as you can for treating diarrhea, you’ve cut way back on the food volume and haven’t changed brands recently and your puppy still has loose stools or explosive diarrhea, you could consider treating for parasites anyway.
- Fenbendazole 22%, sold under the names Safe Guard or Panacur, is a terrific all around wormer. It often gets things we can’t find by testing. It will treat intestinal parasites like hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms, but it will not get protozoa like coccidia or giardia.
- Albon or Diatrim, are both used to treat intestinal protozoa like coccidia & giardia. If you have tried 3 days of fenbendazole 22% with no tightening of stools, and you have a negative fecal test, and a negative giardia snaptest, your puppy may have coccidia. Ask your vet about treating your puppy for coccidia.
What do these dewormers treat?
- Droncit – tapeworms which come from fleas, I don’t use this unless specifically required because it’s so bloody expensive and limited.
- Fenbendazole 22% (Panacur or Safe Guard) – hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, some tapeworms, which can all be picked up in the soil.
- Frontline Plus – technically a flea prevention, but tapeworms come from fleas, and this also treats mange, ear mites, etc. I use this and the dogs sleep in cedar, a flea repellent, and I no longer use straw or hay, which harbors fleas.
- Interceptor – heartworm prevention, plus some prevention of hooks, whips, rounds – DO NOT GIVE TO HEARTWORM POSITIVE DOGS.
- Ivormec 1% cattle wormer – heartworm prevention, plus some prevention of hooks, whips, rounds, mange & ear mites — NOT FOR COLLIE breeds.
- Pyrantel Pamoate (Nemex II) – roundworms, which puppies can get through mother’s milk.
Where can I buy these dewormers?
If its a by-prescription drug, I assume you’ll go to your vet. Some vets will write you a script to go to online places like www.kvvet.com, but if your vet sells the product, don’t be surprised if they won’t give you a script so you can save a buck off their prices. This is how they make their living, just as you make yours.
Over the Counter
- Frontline Plus
- Fenbendazole 22% (individual 3-day dosing) sold as SAFE GUARD or PANACUR
- Ivormec 1% cattle wormer
- Pyrantel Pamoate (Nemex II) also sold as human pinworm treatment