Is worming treatment causing my dog to fit?

(Q) I am happy with the treatment my dogs receive at the vet's and, in general, my Border Terrier is a healthy and lively dog, but he has had a fit on two separate occasions. Looking back at my records, both occurred at the same time as my terrier was wormed.

I am convinced it was the worming treatment so I am unwilling to use this method again. Should I instead try a homeopathic worming remedy if there is one available?

(A) Homeopathic vet Holly Mash says: It would be very unusual for worming tablets to cause your dog to have seizures, unless he was suffering from some kind of underlying problem causing sensitivity to them. I suspect it would be coincidental to the worming treatment, or at least related to something else.

As your dog has now had two episodes, it would be a good idea for your vet to check him over and run basic blood tests to rule out any organ-related or metabolic reason for the fits, especially if he is an older dog. He should be able to have these done within the normal consultation time and so not have to stay at the vet's.

There is no homeopathic worming treatment that I know of. What I would recommend is that you keep worming to a minimum by having a faecal sample tested by your vet. This is fairly routine, where the sample is sent away to the lab to identify whether your dog has worms. If he does, you can do more targeted worming, that is, only if and when necessary.

If you do need to worm him, then use a different brand of wormer to the one you have used previously - and hopefully you will avoid any problems.