Deworming medications are an important part of keeping dogs healthy. Intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms can infect dogs and cause a variety of health problems. Deworming gets rid of these internal parasites and improves your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.
After giving your dog deworming medication, you may be wondering – will I see worms come out in their poop? Let’s take a closer look at what happens after deworming a dog.
How do dog dewormers work?
There are several types of dewormers used to treat parasitic infections in dogs:
- Fenbendazole – Kills roundworms, hookworms, whipworms
- Pyrantel pamoate – Kills roundworms, hookworms
- Praziquantel – Kills tapeworms
- Milbemycin oxime – Kills roundworms, hookworms, whipworms
- Ivermectin – Kills roundworms, hookworms
These medications paralyze or kill the worms in your dog’s intestinal tract. The worms are then passed out of their system through their feces.
Some dewormers dissolve the worms, which means they may not be visible after treatment. Other medications leave dead worms intact so they can be expelled from the body.
Will I see dead worms after deworming?
In some cases, you may see evidence of worms being passed after giving your dog a dewormer. However, this does not happen with every medication or infection.
Here are some general guidelines on what to expect:
- Roundworms – Rarely visible after treatment. Medications dissolve the worms.
- Hookworms – Rarely visible after treatment. Medications dissolve the worms.
- Whipworms – Pieces of worms may be visible in feces after treatment.
- Tapeworms – Dead tapeworm segments look like small grains of rice. They may be visible after treatment for several days.
So while tapeworms and sometimes whipworms may be noticed after deworming, other types of worms generally dissolve completely with treatment.
How long does it take for worms to appear after deworming?
If worms do become visible after deworming, how long does it take? Here is the general timeline:
- Tapeworm segments – May appear within 24 hours of treatment.
- Whipworms – Pieces of worms passed 24-48 hours after treatment.
- Roundworms and hookworms – Extremely rare to see any evidence passed in feces.
So in most cases, dead worms will be passed within 1-2 days of deworming treatment if they are going to appear at all. Some dogs may have reduced appetite during this timeframe.
Signs worms are being eliminated from the body
While actual worms may not always be visible, there are some signs that your dog’s body is eliminating intestinal parasites after treatment:
- More frequent bowel movements or loose stool
- Worm fragments or rice-like tapeworm segments in stool
- Reduced appetite for 24-48 hours
- Gurgling digestive noises
You know deworming treatment is working if you see any of these signs. The parasites are being flushed from your dog’s system.
How to check if deworming worked
While you may or may not see visible proof, how can you tell if your dog’s deworming treatment was effective?
There are two main options:
- Repeat fecal exam – Have your vet analyze another stool sample about 2-3 weeks after deworming. If no parasites are detected, the medication worked.
- Repeat treatment – Give another dose of dewormer in 2-4 weeks and watch for worms again. If none appear, the first dose was likely effective.
Your vet can advise you on the best method. Puppies usually need 2-3 doses spaced apart to fully eliminate all parasites.
How often should dogs be dewormed?
To prevent reinfection, dogs should be dewormed on a regular schedule based on risk factors:
|Dog Age||Deworming Frequency|
|Under 6 months||Every 2-4 weeks|
|6-12 months||Every 1-3 months|
|Over 12 months||1-4 times per year based on risk|
Puppies and high-risk dogs need to be dewormed more often. Lower risk adult dogs can be treated just 1-2 times per year.
Tips for safe and effective deworming
Follow these tips for the best results when deworming your dog:
- Get the right dewormer – Choose a medication that treats the type of worms your dog has based on fecal exam results or veterinary advice.
- Give the full dose – Don’t split tablets or shorten treatment, follow your vet’s directions.
- Watch for side effects – Some diarrhea or appetite loss are normal, but contact your vet if severe.
- Check efficacy – Have a fecal recheck done 2-3 weeks after treatment to confirm the worms are gone.
- Stick to the schedule – Remember to treat again in 2-4 weeks for puppies and a regular schedule for adults.
- Combine with prevention – Use monthly heartworm/parasite prevention medication prescribed by your veterinarian.
When to seek veterinary advice
Your veterinarian is your best resource when it comes to deworming your dog. Contact your vet if:
- You see signs of an intestinal parasite infection – vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, bloating.
- Your dog has a high worm burden – you see multiple worms passed in stool.
- Dewormer side effects last more than 2 days – appetite loss, vomiting, diarrhea.
- Your dog is under 6 months old – puppies need vet prescribed deworming regimens.
- You are unsure about the right deworming schedule or medications.
Your vet can do fecal tests to identify any parasites and provide the appropriate deworming treatment plan.
The takeaway on deworming dogs
Deworming medications are important to keep your dog healthy and free of intestinal parasites. After treatment, worms may be visible in stool but only in some cases – often dead worms and larvae will completely dissolve.
Signs that deworming is working include appetite changes, digestive noises, and worm pieces in stool for the first 1-2 days. Have your vet confirm with a fecal exam that parasites are gone.
Stick to the schedule recommended by your veterinarian for follow up treatments. This ensures worms don’t have a chance to reinfect your dog. Combine deworming with monthly parasite prevention medicine.
With the right treatment plan, your dog can stay worm-free and healthy.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Deworming Pets.” https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/health_professionals/index.html#deworm
 Companion Animal Parasite Council. “Parasite Control Recommendations.” https://capcvet.org/guidelines/parasite-control-recommendations
 Merck Veterinary Manual. “Anthelmintic Therapy.” https://www.merckvetmanual.com/pharmacology/anthelmintics/anthelmintic-therapy
 The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. “Wormingtreatments for dogs and cats: managing resistance.” https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/pet-allergy/tips-and-tricks-for-pet-allergy/worming-treatments-for-dogs-and-cats-managing-resistance
 American Kennel Club. “Deworming Schedule for Puppies.” https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/deworming-schedule-for-puppies/