October 10, 2008, Newsletter Issue #16: Deworming Puppies

Tip of the Week

When you look at that roly poly little puppy, it doesn't seem possible that it could have any problems with worms. After all, the puppy's mother seems like a very healthy, well cared for dog and worms only happen to dirty, neglected dogs, right? Actually, many veterinarians say that becoming pregnant and giving birth can cause a dog to develop worms that were lying dormant in its system. These worms can be passed on to puppies. Because of this, deworming puppies routinely is often recommended by veterinarians.
If your veterinarian wants to deworm your puppy, you may want to ask for a fecal exam instead, since there is no sense in giving medication to a puppy that doesn't need it. This exam shows the vet exactly which, if any, worms your dog has in its system. Often, by the time a puppy is eight weeks, it has already been wormed by the breeder's veterinarian and is worm free.

Some veterinarians have discontinued routine worming because certain heartworm preventative medications claim to also kill roundworms and hookworms. They prescribe the heartworm medication and say that will take care of all worm problems. Others say that a preventative is no replacement for treatment of an infected dog. If you are concerned about worms, ask your veterinarian if your puppy's heartworm preventative can treat other types of worms.

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