Even if you don’t think about it at first when you look into a whelping box with cute little puppies: the little rascals can be infected with worms from birth. This not only poses an acute health risk but can even negatively affect the growth of some organs and weaken the immune system to such an extent that the puppy dies. For this reason, it is important to deworm puppies as early as possible and regularly.
How does the puppy get the worm?
You’re probably wondering why the innocent puppies can have worms so early? Most females carry encapsulated roundworm larvae, or roundworm larvae, which are activated during the body’s hormonal changes during pregnancy and enter the mother’s uterus. There they can infect the dog embryos located in the uterus. Since this endangers the health and growth of the puppies in the event of a severe infestation, breeders must deworm the puppies. This happens as early as two weeks of age and periodically thereafter.
Why worms are so dangerous for puppies
Puppies are at risk of contracting worms themselves due to a possible infection in the mother’s uterus and the fact that worm larvae can also get into the digestive tract of the puppies via the mother’s milk. But what makes the worms so dangerous for the puppies? If the breeder does not treat the puppies for worms early on, the parasites can multiply quickly in the small dogs, which poses a serious threat. A heavy infestation of worms can be devastating for puppies, causing damage to their lungs or liver, or serious gastrointestinal problems that weaken little dogs’ bodies to the point of death. In the case of adult roundworms in the intestines, a heavy worm infestation often leads to a life-threatening intestinal blockage.
Deworming puppies: how to get rid of parasites
In order to avoid life-threatening complications from worms in puppies, it is advisable for the breeder to deworm the puppies at the age of two weeks. For the deworming of puppies, there are special wormers that you give to the puppies according to the instructions of the veterinarian. Deworming is repeated every two weeks and continued until the second week after weaning from the mother. Only use medication prescribed by a veterinarian to deworm puppies. Alternative herbal remedies are not recommended for deworming puppies. You can also deworm the mother animal to protect the puppies, but there are no approved veterinary medicines for this in Germany.
However, since it has been proven that deworming the mother animal makes sense, you should ask your veterinarian about this topic.
Deworming puppies – why so often?
You may be wondering why the puppies need to be dewormed so often? This is due to the possibility of infection through breast milk. For this reason, we recommend deworming the puppies every two weeks and again two weeks after they have had their last breast milk. After that, it is sufficient to deworm the dog every three months.
Are vermifuges dangerous for puppies?
Dewormers are controversial among dog owners because they are chemical agents that kill living organisms, namely worms. However, anthelmintics are now designed in such a way that they specifically attack the special structures of the worms to be combated, which cannot be found in the organisms of other living beings.
If you want to reduce deworming in your adult dog, you can take a stool sample to the vet as a precaution and have it checked for worms. This is not possible with puppies.
Today’s dewormers for puppies and dogs go through many clinical tests and have few side effects. The products for nursing bitches and puppies in particular are carefully examined to ensure they are safe before they are allowed on the market. Measured against the damage that the worms can inflict on the puppies, the risk to the puppies from the side effects of the medication can be classified as low. Possible side effects that occur from time to time are gastrointestinal disorders, but these soon subside. Early and regular deworming is essential for small dogs to grow up healthy and have a good immune system. Therefore, stick to the recommended wormers for puppies and ensure a healthy start in life for the puppies.