Puppy Worms

Worms in Puppies

It is known that almost all worms may affect puppies. Worms are parasites that will settle in your puppies’ digestive tract and begin feeding on nutrients, blood and tissues. Worms in puppies reproduce at a very high rate and are very contagious to other dogs. Not only that, but they can be very difficult to fully get rid of. The two main types of worms that affect puppies are the tapeworm and roundworm. Whipworms are not very common in puppies.

puppy wormsPuppies contract worms from their mother at birth. It doesn’t matter if the pregnant mother was perfectly healthy during delivery, it is known that puppies will get worms during or right after birth. It is known that 90%-99% of puppies will be born with worms. This is caused by the dormant worms in the mother getting through to the placenta and infecting the pups. Another way puppies may be affected with worms is through the milk from the mammary glands.

Puppy worms are often unseen in feces unless they are very heavily infested. Often times, puppies will die from worm infestations because they are not properly treated as soon as possible. If your puppies are not gaining any weight, it is important to bring them to the veterinarians as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Puppy Worms

Worms in puppies are very serious and need to be treated as soon as possible. Since the chance of worms in puppies is so high, you need to keep an eye out for symptoms in order to seek treatment.

The most common symptoms of worms in puppies is bad breath. This is known as ‘puppy breath’ and regular breeders will know what this is all about. Another really common symptom of puppy worms is a bloated, distorted stomach. The puppy will appear to be weak and will not develop as well as other puppies. Some other symptoms of worms in puppies include:

  • Dull coat and skin
  • Coughing
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Underdevelopment
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Sticky saliva
  • Eating garbage and excessive amount of food (with no weight gain)
  • Dark urine
  • Scooting
  • Indications of pain in the abdominal area

If puppy worms symptoms go untreated, they will worsen. Some severe symptoms include seizures, paralysis and anemia. These are very dangerous and are often fatal in puppies. If you notice any irregularities in your puppies, it is important to bring him to the veterinarian as soon as possible, as worms are very dangerous and important to treat.

Treatment for Puppy Worms

Usually, puppies will be diagnosed and dewormed starting at 2 weeks of age. Deworming medication is very effective and needs to be continued until no worms are found. If you are an experienced breeder, you may purchase over the counter deworming medications to give to your puppies. Just be sure to keep up on vet appointments and cleaning up feces frequently.

The type of worms and the severity of the infection will depend on the treatment plan for your puppies. Be sure to check out specific worm pages in order to seek information about treatment for different types of worms. It is also important to treat the mother for worms as well. Often times, tests will come back as negative, but if her puppies have worms, it is likely that she does too.

Prevent re-infestations of worms in puppies by keeping the yard free of feces and keeping their feeding and sleeping areas clean and tidy. Regularly change water and food dishes for the mother as well. It is important to note that humans may contract certain worms from puppies, so you should take extra precautions when handling a puppy with worms by washing your hands and avoid eye, mouth and nose contact.