Tip 62 – Puppies and worms
Getting a new puppy is an exciting experience for the whole family and in order to make sure the puppy is in good health it must be brought to the vet for some basic tests.
One of the health issues that the majority of puppies have to deal with is worms. Most puppies are born with worms and they need to be taken to the vet for treatment (to be dewormed). The vet will take a stool sample and check it for worm eggs. The most common worm found in puppies is the roundworm. These worms are caused by intestinal parasites that were transmitted from mother to puppy before birth or from mother’s milk during feeding. Most vets recommend treating pregnant mothers with a deworming medication during the last weeks of pregnancy to decrease transmission. If left untreated heavy worm loads can seriously harm your puppy or dog.
Puppies as young as 2 weeks old should be brought to the vet for deworming. Then deworming should continue every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old. Once they become adults, male dogs should be dewormed once a year and females after each estrous cycle.
Deworming is something that must be done routinely and taken seriously. Roundworm (Toxocara canis) can be passed to humans (especially kids) through contact with dog feces or contact with contaminated soil.