Your Puppy’s First Worming Treatment
Worms are a common cause of illness in puppies. In fact, all puppies are considered to have worms, and one of the pillars of puppy care, in addition to vaccines, is effective deworming. Make sure you have all the facts before you get started to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible — for both you and your pup.
Why Is Worming Important for Puppies?
Intestinal worms are bad in any pet, but even more so in puppies. Because puppies are small and still growing, they are much more vulnerable to diseases, parasites and getting sick. Intestinal worms like hookworms, tapeworms and roundworms steal the much-needed nutrients that puppies need to grow and flourish, in addition to causing pain, discomfort and even blood loss. If not effectively treated, a puppy can even die.
Rarely, humans can also contract these parasites, which can lead to intestinal pain, skin reactions and more serious health problems.
What Are the Signs of Worms in Puppies?
Some puppies may not show any signs of being infected with worms, but more than likely, they will show some signs. Because of the many types of intestinal worms that can infected puppies, there can be a variety of clinical signs including:
- Weakness and listlessness
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting
- Poor hair coat
- Swollen belly (potbelly appearance)
- Coughing or respiratory distress
- Stool that contains spaghetti-like worms, small rice-like segments or blood
Keep in mind that with the exception of worms in stool, these symptoms could also indicate other health problems; check with your vet to be sure.
How Do You Deworm a Puppy?
Although worms are a major nuisance for your puppy, they’re fairly easy to treat. Puppy deworming solutions are available in a variety of forms, including tablets, chewables and topical spot-ons. Many are offered over the counter, while some require a prescription from your vet. Regardless of where you purchase your dewormer, it is always good to consult with your veterinarian, as they can set up an appropriate deworming schedule and trouble shoot any problems that may arise.