8 answers

Does Castor Oil Work?

A little while ago, we noticed our animals around the house (outside animals) were acting sick. This includes a large dog and 2 small dogs, as well as 2 cats and 2 kittens. The kittens actually seem fine, and the large cat does. But one cat and the dogs we think have worms. All of these animals are not ours, and we cannot afford to de-worm them. I am sure it is worms because a dog was dragging his buns across the floor like they do. Anyways, I was talking to a neighbor and she said that they give thier dogs a teaspoon of castor oil and it does the trick and they are fine, but I am afraid to do that. And I dont know how it would affect the cats. But I cant elave these animals to suffer and die which is what I fear will happen eventually. Does anyone know about this or have any suggestions? The dog breeds are a 75 lb Chow, and 2 weenie dogs that are about 6 lbs each. The cats: One is very large, I am guessing about 8 lbs...one is very small now and is about 3 lbs (full grown) and the kittens are 4 months old.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I agree with everyone else.I would not use castor oil without knowing it was safe and effective.I would just get some de-wormer at walmart.Good Luck!

More Answers

I don't think castor oil would really work. If the pets are healthy then try some store bought wormer. You could also call the vet and ask if they can give you anything without bringing all the pets in. You can also ask how much it will cost. They might help you out. Treating for worms is pretty cheap.
(The store wormer is pretty harsh, so only use it on healthy pets.It might not be safe for the kittens.)

Hey A.,
I have never heard of using castor oil, however you can buy worm medication at walmart (kmart, target and any pet supply have them too but I don't know their prices) in their pet aisle. It isn't very expensive, maybe $5 for a bottle of liquid drops. I have used this in the past for a cat that we used to have and it got rid of the worms. It was cheaper to try than taking them to the vet for de-worming meds.
Good luck.

I've never heard of using castor oil. Did the neighbor say what type of worms that is supposed to be effective for? She may have meant roundworms, which is what you de-worm puppies and kitens for, and what most de-wormers are for. You might check the ingredients on one of those at the store, and see if castor oil is one of the main ingredients.

The dragging along the floor isn't always worms. It could be their anal glands bothering them. I remember this in our small dog growing up, but I don't think I've seen this problem in our chocolate lab that we have now. I wonder if that's more of a small dog problem?

They will also drag their bottom when they have canine tapeworm. The other give-away to determine if it's tapeworm is you will see dried up worms in the hair around their bottom. They look like little pieces of brown rice. Those are actually egg packets of the tapeworm. They are passed out with fecal matter, and can sometimes be seen moving for a short time. They dry up and are ingested by rodents or fleas. This intermediate host is necessary for the worm's lifecycle - the dog/cat/human cannot be infected by ingesting the egg packet. The dog then bites at the fleas that are bothering him and swallows one or more of them, becoming infected with the tapeworm. So, tapeworm control also involves flea control. If you get rid of the tapeworm, but not the fleas, they will get re-infected. And it only takes ONE FLEA - as our vet used to emphasize.

Even though it's called canine tapeworm, cats and even children can get it. For instance, if your toddler grabs some hair off the cat and puts it in his mouth before you can reach him, and there happens to be just ONE flea in there, even though you haven't seen any fleas that whole summer, then you might be changing a diaper and see something crawling in the diaper. At which point you might freak out and run screaming to the pediatrician's office where you might be told that it's pinworm and give everybody in the house medicine. That will make the egg packets stop passing through temporarily, but the tapeworm will produce more in a few days. You might even treat for pinworms 2 or 3 times and take stool samples in. And you may eventually have to nab one of those suckers and take it to the vet who will confirm it is NOT pinworm but it is canine tapeworm. At which point your pediatrician may freak out and say "WHAT? What KIND of tapeworm?" And you might say "The kind dogs get, which is what I told you the first time I brought him in" And then they will have to make an educated guess at how much of the medication a 20 lb child should have, and you will have to search all over town for a pharmacy that actually carries it, and then you will have to take that 1/4 of a pill and crush it into some yogurt or applesauce and feed it to your baby, and worry about whether they made the right guess at the dosage, and approach each diaper change with apprehension wondering if this awful creature will be there. And you wondered why I knew so much about the life-cycle of the tapeworm.

I googled "castor oil to deworm pets" and it came up with a few sites. Including:


I did read on one site NOT to give castor oil to cats because it can irritate their system.

I have seen OTC dewormers in the local pet stores (petco...Petsmart...) I would try these over the oil. The oil is just a laxative, and you may have a bigger mess on your hnds than you really want.

Good Luck!

I've never heard of this, but castor oil would probably cost about as much as an over the counter de-wormer. You don't have to take them to the vet for deworming. Just make sure you de-worm them, then do a follow up de-worming....and be sure to stick to a schedule for taking care of it routinely. The animals will die if you don't get them de-wormed.

Also, you can mix the de-wormer with a little bit of canned food, and they'll gobble it right up.

I have horses, dogs, cats & rabbits, and have had the same for over 30 years. I also have a very good friend who is a Vetrinarian. I always follow his advice, and he usually used an OTC de-wormer, unless the worms wouldn't go away with 2 doses.

I agree with everyone else.I would not use castor oil without knowing it was safe and effective.I would just get some de-wormer at walmart.Good Luck!

I don't know about castor oil but I 'think' that garlic might help. You could make 'treats' for them and use garlic powder or sprinkle it over their food.

You might also want to check with the rescues/shelters...I think Pet Connection in Mission may make some medications available at very low cost...It might be cheaper and more effective to worm them if you can find a low cost source for the stuff.

Honestly, if you really care about the animals, call a local vet and ask them first. Otherwise, go to Wal-mart or any other "Wal-Mart" type store, and but dewormer there, especially if you don't know what kind of worms they are. Of course you'd have to get wormer one for the cats, and one for the dogs, as you shouldn't used one on the other, I'm pretty sure they're under $5 or so, I had to treat my cat last year, just follow the directions, and you may have to follow up with another dose, but better to be safe than sorry!! Good Luck!

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