Puppy Care: Roundworm Infestation in Puppies

Five types of parasitic worms can be found and are common in puppies. Roundworms are the most common parasite among these worms. They usually have rounded or tubular shape bodies of about 2-4 inches. Roundworms can grow up to 7 inches in a very short span of time. The most common types of roundworms are Toxacara canis and Toxascaris leonina.

Roundworms are parasites that are usually passed to the puppies through an egg or larvae while they are still inside their mother’s womb. The milk of the infected mother can also be a means for roundworms to be passed to the puppies. Puppies can also get roundworms if they come in contact with the feces of their mother or if they eat prey contaminated with roundworms. The larvae travels through the puppies’ liver, then to the muscles, to the lungs and finally to the intestines where it can feed on the semi-digested food.

If infected with roundworms, puppies may have trouble in swallowing and urinating. The symptoms of roundworm infestation include frequent vomiting, weight loss, diarrhea, dry or dull hair, bloated stomach and loss of appetite. If the puppies are not de-wormed immediately, the infestation may lead to the puppies’ demise.

De-worming of puppies that are about 3 weeks old is essential since their body resistance is low and this might cause for roundworm infestation. There are medicines that can control roundworms; these are Fendendaole, Pyrantel and Piperazine. However, these medicines can cause serious side effects to puppies. Thus, it is highly recommended to seek the opinion of your veterinarian first before giving your puppy anything. Puppies eventually develop resistance to any infection when they are already 6 months old.

Microscopic examination of the puppy’s stool is done by the veterinarian to determine roundworm infection. After this, the veterinarian will then give prescription and recommendation for your puppy. During the treatment, the roundworms are not really killed but they are removed from the puppy’s body through its stool. Roundworms treatment can continue for about two months because its larvae may still be present in the puppy’s intestines.

Considered a safe treatment for roundworms is homeopathy. You can do this by adding a mixture of two cloves of freshly chopped garlic and two teaspoons of grated carrots or oat barns to the puppy’s food. Also, it is highly advisable to keep the area where the puppies defecate clean by washing it with mixture of 1% bleach and water. This can help in removing the sticky outer coating of the roundworms’ eggs.

The treatment for roundworm infestation can be a big job, thus, it is really best to follow proper dog care steps to keep the symptoms at bay. Ensure to check your puppy’s body to see if there are other parasites living off its body. Dispose the puppy’s food immediately if it does not want to eat it. Never leave the food open for a long time and disinfect the surroundings. Deworming your pregnant dog during the latter stages of pregnancy can also help lessen the roundworm infection on its puppies. Keep in mind to deworm your puppy as and when it is needed. Keep your puppies from the places where other dogs do their bowel movements and dispose your puppies’ feces properly. Roundworms and other dog worms can also infect humans, thus, proper dog care and hygiene is vital.

Marcus Samuels writes for several online websites and blogs. You can read his latest articles about soap holder and Croscill bath accessories here.