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How To Deworm A Puppy

A white puppy laying on a beach

So, you have recently gotten a puppy, and now every time they go to the bathroom, you see worms in their stool. This is a very common thing to see in puppies. Your puppy now needs to be dewormed. This article will explain all about deworming puppies and when you need to see your veterinarian.

Signs and Symptoms of worms

There are many signs and symptoms that a puppy who has worms will display. These are common signs seen in puppies with worms.

  • Frequent excretion: Your puppy may frequently be needing to go outside and potty. This is because the worms are trying to get out of your dog's body.
  • Bloating: Puppies who have worms will look bloated. This is because there are worms in their stomach and intestine, making them look bloated.
  • Vomiting: Most worms are moving around the stomach and intestines. This can cause your dog to be nauseous and even vomit.   Sometime your dog may even vomit up worms.
  • Upset stomach: These worms moving around will give your dog an upset stomach. This will cause them not to want to eat as much and have an upset stomach.
  • Lethargy: Puppies who have worms will not be as active and will be more lethargic. This is because the worms are draining your puppy of their normal nutrients needed to keep them active and playful.
  • Anxiety: Some dogs who have worms will also seem anxious. These worms moving in your dog's stomach can cause some anxiety in your dog.

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If you think that your pet has worms, there are many things that you can do to make sure that they have worm.  First, contact your local veterinarian and schedule a visit. They can help you determine if your dog has worms and exactly what worms they have.  Based on the signs that you tell your veterinarian, they may run some tests to find out what worms your dog has.

Inspection of a Stool Sample

Most veterinarians will start off with a stool sample. This sample will be looked at under a microscope to see if there are any worms in the poop. Your veterinarian is looking for the eggs that the worm shed and not the worm themselves. Common worms found in the stool of puppies are

If your dog has any of these worms, your veterinarian can give your dog the proper dewormer to kill the worms.

Blood work

Some of these worms will suck your dog's blood to get nutrients. This could cause some problems with your dog.  Your veterinarian may need to run bloodwork to see the levels of blood in your dog.

Deworming a dog

There are many different ways your veterinarian may deworm your dog. This all depends on what parasites they have.  Your veterinarian can help you figure out what parasites your puppy has and the best medication to treat your dog. 

a white puppy with one blue eye and one brown eye with a pink ball in his mouth

Oral Medication or a Shot

There is oral medicine and shot that your veterinarian may give your dog to cover a wide range of internal parasites.  The oral medication may be a liquid or a pill that your dog will take. Depending on what parasite your veterinarian find will depend on what type of medication your dog will need. Each parasite needs a different kind of medicine to kill them. Many times, these medications may need to be repeated to make sure that all the worms are killed.

When to Start Deworming Puppies?

It is recommended to start deworming your puppy around 2 to 3 weeks old.  Many puppies can get worms from their mother when they are nursing. Depending on what type of worms your dog has and how severe the symptoms are, your veterinarian may need to give your dog a blood transfusion.  Hookworms especially are known for causing anemia in small puppies. This can be a life-threatening emergency.

Prevention is the best medicine

Preventing your puppy from getting parasites is way better than having to treat them for the symptoms that these parasites can cause.  Dogs are always outside smelling in the dirt and can very easily pick up a parasite in the yard or from dog park visits.

Have puppies checked for worms 2-4 times annually

It is best to have your puppies checked for worms 2 to 4 times a year. This helps you figure out if your dog has worms before they become a bigger problem.  If your dog spends time outside very frequently or frequents dog parks, they may even need to be checked even more often. Many times you can just take a sample into your veterinary clinic and have them check the stool for you.

Buy flea collars to prevent spread and infection that way

It is also a great idea to keep a flea collar on your dog or give them flea and tick prevention. This will help them decrease the spread of these parasites.  Fleas carry tapeworms and can pass these on to your dog.

Dispose of poop immediately

Keeping your yard clean of poop is a good way to decrease the spread of these parasites.  Most parasites shed eggs into your dog’s poop. If your dog is smelling on the ground near their last pile of poop, they may re-infect themselves or other dogs with these parasites. By picking up your dog’s poop and keeping your yard clean of other animals’ poop will help decrease the chances of your dog’s getting parasites.

Keep yourself clean

People can also catch these parasites from their dogs. Make sure to wash your hand after playing with your dog. Dogs are known for licking their hind ends to keep clean and then licking your hands or face. By keeping clean, you will also prevent yourself from catching these parasites.

Parasites are never a fun thing for your dog to have. Working with your veterinarian and figuring out what parasites your dog does have, you can get the appropriate treatment for your dog. Many of these parasites can be easily treated, and your dog can return to their normal healthy parasite-free life.

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Meet The Author 

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM

Since she was a little girl, she knew that her dream was to become a veterinarian. With a tremendous passion and love for animals that makes her a great source of knowledge for others. She lives happily with her husband Greg and her babies Ruby the Schnoodle, and Bam-Bam the bunny.

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