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Worming Large Dogs At Low Cost

Originally published Dec. 12, 2017

The Dogtor is in

One of my Fosters, Ricky, has been producing bloody diarrhea since Thursday. I took him to the vet today. It was complicated, but the simple version is he has Hookworms. He’s now on an antidiarrheal, antibiotics, and a wormer. And because hookworms are quite contagious, I’ll be worming ALL seven of the dogs for the next three days just to be safe. There are two standard medications for this: Panacur and Safe-guard.

Panacur comes as a liquid (suspension) or pills. A liter of Panacur liquid costs around $130.00 and is available only through vet supply outlets. I have also used Panacur paste for equines, but this is difficult to get the proper dose measured out for dogs. The dispenser is graduated in increments of 250 pounds up to 1000 pounds. Setting up the dispenser for an 80 pound dog is educated-guesswork. A 30 pound dog is hopeless.

The pills in boxes of three and in sizes for 10 pounds, 20 pounds, and 40 pounds. If your dog is bigger than 40 pounds, you combine boxes to get close to the right weight. Most places that sell pet medications have the pills and they run $7.00 to $15.00 per box. I figured I’d need 16 boxes to give seven dogs of various sizes three doses each.

Safe-guard for dogs is a powder, in little packets. 3 packets per box, just like the Panacur tablets except all I saw were doses for 20 and 40 pounds. They sell for $12.00 and $15.00 per box.

Using either of the above will cost me around $180.00 for worming my dog herd. But Dr. Sandra had a suggestion to save money.

Go to Tractor Supply and get a bottle of Safe-guard goat wormer. It’s the same stuff (Fendbendazole) as Panacure or Safe-guard for dogs, but a better strength for large dogs (being intended for goats).  I’d need to give the big dogs 50 ml of Panacur per dose (that’s a lot), but only need 20 ml or less of Safe-guard for Goats.  Give 1 ml of Safe-guard per 5 pounds of dog: thus a 100 pound dog gets 20 ml per day for three days.  You can squirt it directly int their mouth or drizzle it over their food.  It’s also much cheaper this way.  This bottle of Safe-guard suspension contains enough for 50 big dog doses and costs just $27.00!

Alternatives

Treatment for most worms can also be accomplished with Pyrantel Pamoate (Strongid is a popular brand).  This is a one dose wormer.  Pyrantel Pamoate can be purchsed from animal supply stores but needs a prescription from your veterinarian.  Pyrantel Pamoate does have some side effects.  Also, it does not kill the worms, but paralyzes them, so they are ejected live and could be consumed to reinfect the same dog or infect others sharing a yard.  Pyrantel Pamoate is not effective at all against tape worm.  Fendbendazole is.


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