Tapeworm and roundworm infections in dogs can both be treated by administering an oral de-worming medication. Tapeworm infections are commonly treated with the medications Droncit and Cestex, while roundworm infections may be treated with fenbendazole or moxidectin. Treating heartworm is more difficult as it involves injecting a medication called melarsomine dihydrochloride into the dog's lower back.
Tapeworms are long, flat worms that live in a dog's intestines and feed by attaching themselves to the dog's intestinal lining. The most common sign of a tapeworm infection is the passing of tapeworm body segments in the feces. Tapeworms are generally easy to eliminate with a de-worming medication prescribed by a veterinarian, but to prevent re-infection, it is essential to keep the dog's environment flea-free and avoid feeding it raw meat.
Roundworms are off-white in color and a couple of inches long. Symptoms of a roundworm infection include diarrhea, a pot-bellied appearance, abdominal pain, a dull coat and passing whole worms in the feces. Vets generally administer several doses of de-woming medication to treat a roundworm infection. Annual fecal exams help ensure the worms do not reappear.
Heartworms can cause serious damage to your dog's cardiovascular system and often lead to death if left untreated. They do not generally cause visible symptoms in the early stages of infection, so regular testing is important for detecting them while they are still treatable. Most dogs respond to treatment with intravenous de-worming medications, but even with treatment there is a risk of death due to heart failure.