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Worming Your Puppy

Worming Your Puppy

What Are Worms?

Worms are a very common parasite in dogs and tend to live in their intestines and respiratory systems. They are one of the most frequent causes of serious illness in puppies, so it’s essential that you treat your puppy for worms as soon as you bring them home. Familiarising yourself with the symptoms and establishing a puppy worming schedule is important if you want to protect your dog from these parasites.

How Often Should I Worm My Puppy?

Puppies are more vulnerable to worms than what adult dogs would be due to their young immune systems. They may even be born with worms developing in their immune system. This is why it is important to make sure your puppy is dewormed early in their life, most likely at 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 weeks of age.

If you got your puppy from a trustworthy and reputable breeder or rescue centre then they should be already free from worms as they’ll have been wormed before you took them home. Always ensure any paperwork you received from the breeder or rescue centre is kept safe so you can easily keep track of your puppy’s worming schedule.

Once they reach 12 weeks, continue to give your puppy worming treatments every three months for the rest of his life to ensure he stays healthy and comfortable.

In addition to their regular deworming schedule, you can help prevent your pet from becoming infected by always picking up their poop, thoroughly washing your hands after handling them and ensuring they are free from fleas, as fleas can pass tapeworms to your dog.

young puppy getting a flea and tick dose to prevent worms

Symptoms of Worms

Your puppy may not show any obvious signs or symptoms of having worms despite being infected, so sticking to a regular worming treatment is important.

Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Itching around the anus
  • Blood in faeces
  • Worms in faeces

If you notice any of these symptoms, collect recent stool samples and book an appointment with your vet to help diagnose the problem. If your puppy has worms, your vet will be able discuss treatment options with you and decide the best course of action.

Types of Worms

 Worm Description
 Roundworm Contracted through infected dirt or poop, they are spaghetti-like intestinal parasites and can lead to irritation and diarrhoea. They can cause a pot-bellied appearance.
 Tapeworm Another type of intestinal worm, a tapeworm can be passed to your dog via fleas. There are no apparent symptoms, but you may spot small, rice-like segments around their anus or in their stool. You may also notice your puppy eating more but not gaining any weight.
 Lungworm Lungworms live in a dog’s respiratory system. Your dog can get lungworm if they come into contact with an infected snail or slug.
 Hookworm, whipworm and heartworm Although these worms are uncommon in the Ireland and the UK, always be vigilant when travelling abroad with your dog, as they can have fatal consequences.

Flea and Worm Treatments

Preventative treatment is recommended for all dogs; and a regular dosage of worming tablets is advised. Veterinary treatment may be required if your dog becomes infected.

Always deworm your puppy frequently to maintain their health and wellbeing. It is important that you read the label of any puppy wormers, as different products may be required against different types of worms.

Troscan complete wormer for large dogs is effective against roundworm, tapeworms and hookworms. All you have to do is mix this to your pet’s food every 3 to 6 months to ensure they stay protected from worms.

ZANTEL Cat & Dog Wormer Tablets treat roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and whipworms, and is suitable for both dogs and cats. Can be given with or without food.

FLEATIX Medium Dog 3 Pack provides three month’s flea and tick protection for your medium sized dog. This Spot-on solution will treat and prevent fleas and ticks in dogs. As fleas can act as a host for worms such as tapeworms or roundworms, it is imperative to make sure your dog is protected from these too.

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