It is important that you deworm your dog regularly for the overall health of your pet. At an early age, your puppy might be infested with worms. And this can affect his health if it is not addressed properly.
Yes, it is hard to believe that your sweet little darling already has a lodger at his tender age! Worms can be ingested before birth or while he is feeding with his mother’s milk.
Here is a short overview of how you can protect your puppy from worms!
What Worms are There, Anyway?
Insofar as dogs are concerned, there are lots of worms to deal with but the three most basic are the roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.
All of these worms thrive in your dog’s intestines. Lungworms and heartworms, which also exist, play a minor role for most dogs in some countries as they do not generally thrive in hot weather.
How Does my Dog get Worms?
There are several ways worms and worm eggs can get into your dog’s body.
Roundworms can get into your puppy through the uterus or suck them up with his mother’s milk. The feces of other canines may also be infested with roundworms and worm eggs. A dog sniffing another’s pile during a walk may inhale and take in some eggs.
In some cases, worm eggs attach to the soles of our shoes and we carry them inside the house. When our dogs accidentally licks a space where we stepped on, our dogs may take in some of those eggs.
On the other hand, tapeworms need a so-called “intermediary host”. That means another living thing that helps with the transmission. Fleas, mice, and raw meat are possible hosts and are especially dangerous for your dog.
Once your dog ingests a host-bearing worm egg, the egg will settle on his small intestines and eventually develop into an adult worm.
As with roundworms, a hookworm can get into your puppy through the uterus or through the mother’s milk.
Additionally, hookworms may be transmitted to your dog through direct contact with the skin when your dog lies on soil infected with worm eggs.
What are the Signs of Worms in Dogs?
There are a few symptoms that might indicate that your dog has worms. Excretion of worms, a bloated belly despite your dog not being overweight, loss of appetite, diarrhea, or weight loss despite regular food intake are warning signals to which you must respond as quickly as possible. Dog deworming is advised.
However, if you are still noticing these signs despite deworming or when deworming at home did not work, then it’s time to go to your vet!
Is it Important to Deworm your Dog?
Roundworms are not contagious, but they can be transmitted to humans. In the intestines, the larva hatches from the egg and migrates through various organs in search of its actual host, the dog. Since the larva does not find it in the human organism, it eventually dies but may have already caused damage by then.
Tapeworms, however, are much more dangerous. Even when cuddling your dog, you can pick up the very light egg. The larva hatches and forms cysts in different organs depending on the type of worm.
The dog tapeworm does the most damage to the lungs, whereas the fox tapeworm (also transmissible by dogs!) attacks the liver. Fox tapeworms cannot be attacked with vermifuge, the liver damage must be surgically corrected and can even have fatal consequences.
That is one good reason for the regular deworming of your dogs!
How Often Should I Deworm my Dog?
The best thing to do though is not to wait for symptoms to appear, but to deworm your dog regularly and preventively. An untreated or severe worm infestation can be life-threatening for your dog!
To prevent all these problems, it is important to follow the following deworming calendar: Every two weeks from the second week of life until the 12th week of life, then quarterly.
However, do not deworm your dog with just any deworming medication. It is best to consult your vet first so that the proper diagnosis would be rendered and a correct medicinal prescription would be issued.