Dear Dr. Bailey,
Would you kindly your opinion of the following quote? "In my opinion, the safest, cheapest, easiest, most effective way to worm yourself and your pets of the most common worms (roundworms–also called strongyles, thread worms, pinworms, ascarids) is to go to the local feed store and get a bottle of horse or dog roundwormer–Equi-Phar, ProTal, Strongid-T, and Nemex are all trade names of Pyrantel Pamoate. I say this because when you ask your doctor for a wormer, they usually tell you there is no need for you to be wormed. Make sure it says Pyrantel Pamoate on the label and nothing else added. Combination wormers are not always needed and not always safe.
Dosage: Use the dose of 5-10 mg/kilogram bodyweight (about 1 ml/5 pounds) of bodyweight for dogs and humans and 1 ½ ml/5 pounds for cats. In layman’s terms that is 1 teaspoon per 25 pounds. If you are not good at math, you’ll want to double-check that you are taking the correct dosage. Although this wormer is so safe that you can take 40 times the amount with no harmful side effects, you don’t want to under dose. And, “If a little is good, a LOT is not necessary better.”
One dose is all it takes if you are worming twice a year, but you may have to give a second dose 7-10 days after the first dose for the initial worming. I use this twice a year for myself as I have had a history of heart palpitations (another symptom associated with parasites.) The worms will be dead within 20 minutes. You won’t feel anything and should have no side-effects. Occasionally I see a pet get nauseated with an overdose, but in 30 years, I have never seen any other side-effect. No, you won’t likely see them pass in your stool.
Will store-bought wormer work the same? No. Many stores still carry Piperazine wormer which has been so overused that it is no longer an effective wormer. Piperazine is often marketed as a “monthly” wormer in the pet sections. I one saw a litter of puppies in full seizure who had just been wormed that week with piperazine. I immediately wormed them with Pyrantel and the worms just flowed out their little rectums and the seizures stopped within 20 minutes. It was incredible to watch!
If the product you purchase contains a tapeworm medicine (like clorpyriphos which is an organophosphate wormer), that may cause some serious side affects. Never use these store bought wormers on pregnant animals. The animal’s guts can contract so strongly to pass the worms that they can rupture their uterus and die. Always get tapeworm medicine from your doctor or veterinarian as we carry much safer brands than the grocery or feed stores do."