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How to deworm a puppy
It’s imperative that you know the right way to ensure the good health of your puppy.
Deworming, also known as “worming”, is an important step in a puppy's life, even before they are born. Internal parasites can settle in the digestive tract of puppies when they are growing inside the mother's womb. When the puppy is born, these internal parasites feed on everything the puppy ingests. A heavy worm burden can cause severe malnutrition in a puppy.
Worms can be identified by the following symptoms:
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Swollen belly
- Pale gums
- Loss of appetite
- Dull coat
Parasites in the egg and larval stages of their life cycle within the puppy and in the environment are typically resistant to deworming medications given to the puppy. Taking your puppy to the veterinarian when they are two (2) to four (4) weeks old for their first physical examination is very important. Your veterinarian may administer deworming medication from two (2) to twelve (12) weeks in a sequence to eradicate the parasites from your puppy’s gastrointestinal tract. The deworming schedule will depend on factors like your puppy’s vaccination schedule, the worm burden or type of worm your puppy may have. Deworming is typically done by oral tablets or paste, depending on the weight of your puppy and should always be performed under veterinary supervision.
As a preventative measure and to avoid health issues, deworming should be done every three (3) to four (4) months throughout your dog's life. Consult your veterinarian for more information on this schedule.
Apart from internal parasites, pets can also be affected by external parasites. As soon as your puppy goes outside and starts to explore, he will be easily exposed to external parasites, most commonly, fleas and ticks. These settle on your puppy’s coat and can cause itching, wounds and discomfort.
From the time you detect the presence of these parasites on your puppy's coat, it is important to visit your veterinarian. In this way, you’ll find out which parasite(s) your puppy has and also, the different options for parasite eradication and prevention that exist for your puppy based on its age. Prompt eradication is particularly important if there are other pets in the household and to prevent your puppy from becoming a source of infection to other pets and humans.
There are many products available for treatment of external parasites. The formulations available and methods of application of the oral and topical treatments vary depending on the age and size of your puppy. Certain products are not suitable or safe for use on very young puppies. Be sure to consult your veterinarian before using these products to determine which product is best for your pet, confirm the method of application and be properly advised on any specific notes of caution.
Prompt eradication and prevention of both internal and external parasites is the most effective and recommended measure to avoid your puppy’s health becoming seriously affected.
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