How Long Does Diarrhea Last After Deworming a Dog?
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Sometimes diarrhea may occur in dogs after deworming. The causes may be varied and may be related to both the parasites themselves causing the infection and the antiparasitic drug prescribed to prevent or treat the infectious disease. In any case, it is important to pay attention to this clinical sign and notify the veterinarian who prescribed the treatment, especially if it worsens or persists for a long period of time.
If you want to know how long diarrhea lasts after deworming a dog, do not miss the following AnimalWised article.
Why you need to deworm your dog
To understand the possible reasons for diarrhea in dogs as a result of deworming, it is important to know why the dewormer was given in the first place. Antiparasitics can be administered for two different purposes:
- Prevention of a parasitic disease
- Treatment of a parasitic disease
Prevention of parasitic disease
Parasitic diseases must be prevented by two strategies:
- Control measures: e.g., do not feed raw food to dogs, provide them with clean and drinkable water, deny them access to rodents, game, dead animals, etc.
- Routine deworming: it consists in the regular administration of antiparasitic drugs to prevent the development of parasitic disease.
The frequency with which preventive deworming should be performed depends on several factors, the most important of which are:
- Epidemiological characteristics of the region: Dogs are at different risk depending on the prevalence of the different parasitic diseases in the geographical area where they live.
- The individual risks of each dog: The activity your dog performs (hunting dogs, sheepdogs, etc.) and their diet (consumption of raw meat or offal) are particularly important.
Depending on the different factors that determine the risk of each animal, it is necessary to establish an appropriate deworming program, which must always be designed and prescribed by a veterinarian.
- Dogs that live indoors or have limited access to the outdoors: These are dogs that do not have direct contact with other dogs or access to other risk factors (playgrounds, sandboxes, rodents, prey animals, carcasses or offal, snails, or raw meat). Dogs with these characteristics are classified as low risk. Therefore, it is sufficient to deworm 1-2 times per year or perform routine coprological testing and deworm only if the results are positive.
- Dogs with access to outdoor areas and direct contact with other dogs: These are dogs that have regular contact with other dogs and access to outdoor areas such as parks and public spaces, but do not have access to other risk factors (rodents, prey, carcasses or viscera, snails, or raw meat). Dogs with these characteristics are classified as moderate risk. Therefore, they should be dewormed 4 times per year or undergo routine coprological testing and only deworm if the results are positive.
- Dogs with access to the outdoors, direct contact with other dogs and other risk factors: these are dogs that are used to being in parks and public places. They also have regular contact with other dogs and high-risk animals such as rodents, prey, carcasses or entrails, snails, etc. Dogs with these characteristics are considered high-risk animals and should be dewormed 4 to 12 times per year.
There are few parasitic diseases that are exclusively related to the age of the animal. The risk of infection exists from birth, so preventive deworming must be performed throughout life. Specifically, deworming should begin at 2 weeks of age and be repeated every two weeks until the animal is 8 weeks old. From then on, deworming should be maintained as often as risk allows, as explained above.
For more details on prevention of parasites in dogs, see this other article on parasites in dogs, prevention and treatment.
Treatment of a parasitic disease
If the preventive measures fail and the animal is affected by parasites, it is necessary to apply a specific antiparasitic treatment against the causative agent of the disease.
The specific antiparasitic treatment must be initiated at the time when the parasite species responsible for the infection is determined, and must be repeated depending on the prepatency period of the specific parasite species.
Puppies are particularly susceptible to parasites. Therefore, it is important to treat parasites in puppies as soon as possible, because their health could be at risk. Read this other article on treating parasites in puppies to learn more.
Causes of diarrhea in dogs after deworming
There are several causes that can explain the occurrence of diarrhea after deworming, and these are the following:
The parasitic disease itself: Intestinal parasites can cause diarrhea due to their cytotoxic effect and mechanical action on the intestinal mucosa. Even after starting antiparasitic treatment, diarrhea may persist for the first few days while the intestinal mucosa regenerates.
Side effects of dewormers: Some dewormers may cause diarrhea as a side effect.
A dosing error: Overdosing on an antiparasitic may increase its side effects, including diarrhea.
After deworming a dog, how long should diarrhea last?
The duration of diarrhea in dogs after deworming depends on the reason for which the antiparasitic was administered. If the diarrhea is due to the parasite itself, it may persist for the first few days after the antiparasitic treatment is started. However, if the diarrhea is very severe or lasts longer than 7-10 days, be sure to consult a veterinarian, as in these cases the animal may become dehydrated and require fluid therapy. If it is suspected to be a side effect of the medication, it is important to notify the veterinarian who prescribed the treatment. For mild diarrhea, you will likely choose to keep the same medication until treatment is complete, even if the dog has some degree of diarrhea. For severe diarrhea, you will need to discontinue the treatment and use a different medication.
To be able to quickly help your dog recover from an upset stomach, keep reading this other article on homemade remedies for diarrhea in dogs.
What to do if my dog has diarrhea due to deworming?
The diarrhea will subside after a few days if the cause is a pathogen. As we have already mentioned, if the diarrhea lasts longer than 7 days, you should consult a veterinarian who will tell you what to do.
If it is a side effect of the medication, the diarrhea should resolve on its own after 24-48 hours. If the diarrhea persists after this time, you will also need to see a veterinarian.
However, you can introduce a soft diet or offer easily digestible food to promote intestinal transit and prevent the dog's condition from worsening. Read this guide to learn more about soft diets for dogs with diarrhea.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to How Long Does Diarrhea Last After Deworming a Dog?, we recommend you visit our De-worming category.
- European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP). (2021). Control of worms in dogs and cats . Guide nº01
- European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP). (2013). Control of intestinal protozoa in dogs and cats. Guide nº06