If there’s one word every new puppy owner dreads to hear, it’s worms.
Worms, a classification of parasite, can infect your puppy’s organs and, depending on the type, can seriously impact their health.
Worm treatment is one of the most important parts of veterinary science.
Keep reading for more information on types of worms, how to prevent them, how to tell if your puppy has them, and how to treat them.
Puppy Worms Safety
The first thing you should always remember is that worms CAN be transmitted from puppy to human. For this reason, always wash your hands when handling animals.
Wearing gloves when handling an infected animal or its by-products is advised.
Make sure to take extra care if you have children. Children can contract worms if they play in outdoor areas where animal feces or contaminated water is present.
Keep a close eye on them while they are playing, and make sure that they clean their hands thoroughly.
Types of Puppy Worms
Tapeworms are not always fatal to your puppy, but they can be.
Puppies get these worms via fleas, so keeping a puppy clean of fleas is an important preventative measure. Inside your dog’s intestinal tract, they can grow up to be half a foot long.
The biggest sign of tapeworm infestation is white flecks that look like grains of rice in the dog’s stool or near the base of its tail. These are tapeworm segments and are a sure sign that the puppy has been infected.
To treat tapeworm, you’ll need a prescription. Your veterinarian can prescribe the best de-wormer and monitor your puppy to make sure it’s working.
As they can be passed from mother to pup, many puppies are born already infected with roundworms.
This makes them one of the most common types of worms; however, they can still be deadly, especially to young, weak puppies.
Your puppy can also contract roundworms by eating things it finds outside, such as dead animals, other animals’ droppings, and soil.
If your puppy is infected with roundworms, they may seem weak, sickly, or face problems with growth.
The most obvious sign is if you see the worms in your dog’s stool. They are often described as “spaghetti-like”, as they are thin and white.
If you believe your dog has roundworms, make an appointment with your vet. They can find the best de-wormer for your dog.
Whipworms, which take up residence in a dog’s large intestine, can cause serious diarrhea. They usually appear in puppies three months or older.
If your dog has diarrhea, especially if it’s a puppy, it can lead to severe dehydration and even death.
Make sure to consult your vet about it as soon as possible. Your vet will prescribe a de-wormer and may recommend follow-up de-worming in future months and years.
Heart concerns are just as serious in dogs as they are in humans. A full heartworm manifestation is a serious veterinary issue that can often lead to death.
Puppies get heartworms from mosquitoes and depending on where you live, mosquito bites can be an inevitability. For this reason, preventative heartworm treatments are recommended for all new puppies.
Your vet can recommend at what age to start heartworm medication, prescribe the correct de-wormer, and do follow-up tests.
Heartworm medication is something your dog needs to take monthly for the rest of its life.
How To Get Rid of Worms in Puppies
The best way to prevent and treat worms is by doing regular checkups. This is a normal part of puppy ownership.
Your de-wormer medication will most likely come as a pill or capsule, which can be hidden in food or treats for your puppy to eat.
Some de-worming medications are topical solutions that go on the skin. They should be placed on the animal’s acnestis, between the shoulder blades, because this is the one spot they cannot lick, scratch, or itch.
Others come in a liquid form that must be administered by syringe into the dog’s mouth. This can be a difficult and process, so make sure to reward and affirm your pup once the task is over.
Home Remedies for Puppy Worms
Always consult with your vet before trying any treatment on your puppy.
Pumpkin seeds are one of the most popular worm remedies. They are extremely nutritious.
In order to feed them to your dog, grind them to a fine powder in a food processor or coffee grinder, and mix them into its food.
Garlic is extremely potent and can boost the dog’s immune system.
Make sure not to overdose your dog, particularly if it is a pup, as garlic works by “flushing” worms from the intestines.
Wormwood has “worm” in its name, so it’s not surprising that it’s considered an ancient worm remedy.
However, it is potent enough that you should be extremely careful when dosing your pup.
This is an herb that you should always use in consultation with a certified veterinarian.
Other Ways to Treat Puppy Worms
Some veterinarians recommend feeding your dog fermented vegetables to strengthen the digestive tract and provide probiotics.
These home remedies can be less costly and sometimes less damaging to your pet, but remember that if your puppy shows signs of worms the first thing you need to do is to consult with your vet.
They’ll be able to work with you to develop the best plan of care to keep your pup healthy.
The video below goes into more detail on treating puppy worms.
Do you have any tips on how to get rid of worms in puppies?