When you’re using a dewormer, you likely don’t expect deworming side effects in dogs to happen, but as with any medications they occasionally pop up. Generally, the side effects of dewormers in dogs are self-limiting, meaning that they don’t have any major impact on the dog’s health, leading to only some transient problems. However, this doesn’t make the issue less concerning, countless dog owners are concerned about the side effects of canine dewormers and may be wondering what to do about them.
A Heavy Worm Burden
If your dog gets sick after you give him a dewormer, consider that in some cases, this may happen if your dog has a heavy worm burden. Affected dogs may get a nasty case of gastro-enteritis with diarrhea which sometimes has blood in it, explains veterinarian Dr. Sarah Snow.
In puppies in particular, giving a dewormer when they have a heavy worm burden can lead to several issues. The heavy infestation of worms may cause an impaction as they’re killed and pushed down the intestinal tract. In severe cases, when the dog’s intestinal tract is blocked with dead worms, surgery may be needed. Signs that suggest a blockage include persistent vomiting and abdominal pain.
When the worms are then on their way out through the intestines, a lot of inflammation may set in which can lead to diarrhea, explains veterinarian Doc James. On top of that, if the affected pup is straining from the worms, and the pup has a heavy burden, consider that this may lead to rectal prolapse. Rectal prolapse in puppies may show as the rectum sticking out.
If your dog has a heavy worm burden, he may require numerous dewormings. Consult with your vet about this. You may need to send a stool sample some time after deworming your dog the first time to check for the signs of the presence of any worms.
Deworming Side Effects in Dogs
As mentioned, side effects from dewormers in dogs are usually self-limiting and short-lived. Affected dogs may develop mild diarrhea and vomiting with a temporary loss of appetite. Usually, these cases resolve within a few days when the dog is provided with supportive care such as a bland diet consisting of boiled white rice and boneless, skinless chicken, points out Critical Care Vet, an Emergency and Critical Care Specialist.
You may also notice live or dead worms in your dog’s stool. This happens because some types of dewormers causes the worms to become paralyzed, and therefore, they lose their grip on the gut wall.
In rare cases, a dog may develop an allergic reaction to the deworming drug. Symptoms of an allergic reaction includes signs of shock which include pale gums, trouble breathing, seizures and collapse. See your vet immediately if you notice any of these signs.
Dog Dewormer Overdose Symptoms
Any dewormer, given in an overdose, has the potential to cause toxic effects. However, it may be quite difficult to overdose on some dewormers considering their safety with minimal side effects.
For instance, Panacur, (generic name fenbendazole) is an oral dewormer used to treat hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, and whipworm infestations. With this drug, you would have to give 100 times the normal dose to be concerned about toxicity, explains veterinarian Dr. Peter.
If you suspect you overdosed your dog or puppy and less than 2 hours have passed, consult with your vet. Chances are your dog didn’t really receive a significant overdose, and if he did, you are on time to induce vomiting with your vet’s assistance. You can induce vomiting in dogs at home by using 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.
Generally, symptoms of an overdose of dewormer in dogs include vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea. If you suspect that you overdosed your dog, consult with your vet immediately within business hours, or if after hours, consult with your 24 hours emergency vet or call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 a $59 dollar fee applies per consultation.