City Slicker: "Boy, your dog is some special kind of ugly!"
Country boy: "Yep. He shore is."
City Slicker: "Can he hunt?"
Country boy. "Nope. He don't hunt."
City Slicker: "Is he a good watchdog?"
Country boy: "Nope. He just sleeps all the time."
City Slicker: "Is he a fighting dog?"
Country boy: "Nope."
City Slicker: "He does not even look healthy."
Country boy: "He's got worms."
City Slicker: "Why in tarnation do you keep that worthless thing?"
County boy: "Well, I do love fishing and I never have to dig bait."
|Picture from HERE|
The drug of choice to control tapeworms is Praziquantel at 5mg-to-10mg per kg of body weight. It is given as a single dose and no special feeding regime is required. It has a fairly wide therapeutic window. The lowest cost option of treating all three dogs with Praziquantel (80kg at 10mg/kg) will be in the neighborhood of $35.
Fenbendazole is the second choice. It requires 50mg/kg, applied three days in a row. Fenbendazole is widely available and is economical in horse and cattle formulations, the most common dilution is 100mg/gram of product. The primary advantage of this product, for me, is its availability. The lowest cost option for treating all three of my dogs with fenbendazole is approximately $20. They take liquid meds well when mixed with shredded cheese.
Vets get nervous when patients go "off label" and use products intended for other species. The biggest concern is that most people are incapable of math.
A related concern is that specific species (and the target pathogen) can have wildly differing dosages. As a very general rule, species that are herbivores or scavengers can tolerate higher dosages and have shorter elimination half-lives than carnivores. The usual explanation is that herbivores have greater "gut-fill" due to the lower energy density of their food, plus evolution demanded that they have ways of excreting or otherwise tolerating phyto-toxins Scavengers needed mechanisms to excrete or detoxify myco and bacterial toxins. Ominvores typically fall between scavengers and and carnivores.
An example is ivermectrin dosing. An 80 pound ewe would be dosed with 9 cc of 0.08% pre-mix. The dosage for an 80 pound dog (for heartworms) would be 0.3cc, or 1/30th of the sheep dosage. And this much, much lower dosage can still be fatal for certain breeds of dogs.
Tapeworms can be spread by fleas so a key part of tapeworm control is flea control. Winter is a great time to knock back the flea population. There are countless products that can be fed to the dogs, squeezed across their backs or put around their necks. The other half of the control program involves sanitizing the environment: dog bedding, carpets, furniture and so on.
Mrs ERJ has vetoed many of my business schemes. Given high school and college girls' unquenchable desire to have concave tummies, I proposed selling tapeworm segments on eBay...for scientific purposes, of course. I figured it was no grosser than "colonics", that is, recreational enemas. For some reason Mrs ERJ does not want me vermi-farming tapeworms for the flat-tummy market. Bummer.
Never one to begrudge anybody a promising business idea, I will gladly send seed-stock to any of my loyal readers...for a price, of course.