Puppy Worms

How to Get Rid of Puppy Worms

Puppy worms can cause a great delay in the growth and development of your young dog. It was once believed that puppies only got worms from their mother, before they were born, but some other types of worms can infest your pups, too. Dog roundworms and tapeworms, and sometimes even cat-based worms have a lifecycle that will allow them to infest your puppy.

Worms often live in the intestines of affected dogs, and they are categorized as intestinal parasites. Roundworms and tapeworms can migrate to different parts of the pup's body, and they can be ingested and expelled during various stages of the worms' lifecycle. Your pup can become infested by eating worms' eggs or by eating mice and rodents who are themselves infested. They may then pass worms through their feces, and infect other pups.

The prevalence of puppy worms can be extensive enough that all pups not dewormed can be assumed to be infected with worms. The worms will keep your pup from growing at his normal rate, and there are some symptoms that usually betray their presence:

Puppies with worms usually will have a distended or bloated stomach, and even if you feed high quality food, they may not be growing properly. Hookworms suck your pup's blood and steal nutrition from your pup, which can cause anemia.

Anemia is actually one of the most omnipresent symptoms of puppy worms. If your pup is seriously infected, he may be plagued with convulsions. They can wither and die instead of growing into healthy adult dogs. Of the dogs that survive, many will grow up feeble and misshapen.

If your young dog has puppy worms, his diet can radically change, too. He may turn up his nose at food he normally loves, and eat garbage and dirt. Or he may exhibit a dry, hot nose, eruptions of scaly skin, colic pain and irregular bowel movements. If a puppy is severely infected, he may be lethargic, and he may curl up and sleep, rather than share the activities of his owners or other pups.

Puppies with worms can feel very miserable. One roundworm can multiply so quickly that its offspring can coil in groups that will block the intestines. This can be fatal for most affected pups.

When you purchase or adopt a new pup, have your veterinarian give him a fecal exam, to see if he has any worms in his system. If you ever notice worms in your own puppy's feces, or see symptoms that make you believe your pup has worms, take him immediately to the veterinarian for an exam, and use the de-wormer he recommends.

Keep your dogs' areas clean, and stick to a strict de-worming schedule. Puppy worms will probably never be eliminated, but you can keep their presence at bay with proper care and prevention.