I noticed tapeworms in my puppy’s pooh and bought over-the-counter medication. Do I need to do a second dose? She is 12 weeks old and 10 pounds. I used Sentry HC WormX Plus. The box says to consult a veterinarian regarding whether a second dose is recommended. Also, how do I know if they are all gone? The Internet says that it is very rare to actually see the worms while alive? Thanks!
I usually recommend two treatments approximately two weeks apart to make sure that all stages of the parasite are killed. Sometimes more immature stages are protected from the effect of the dewormer and can be missed by a single deworming. In addition, tapeworms in particular, are spread by ingestion of fleas, so if your dog has fleas and the flea infestation is not also addressed, the tapeworms will return.
The pieces you see in the stool are actually small pieces of the tapeworm that break off and contain the tapeworm eggs. They usually move and wiggle around for a few minutes and then dry up and get very hard. The actual tapeworm can be very long and attaches itself to the intestine. Once the worm is killed, you may see it passed in the stool but usually you do not. Watching for the tapeworm pieces in the stool is the best way to screen for the effectiveness of the treatment as well as evidence of re-infection.