Preventing disease by worming puppies is much easier than trying to get rid of parasites once they already have a hold on your pup. Find out all about worming here.
About Worming Puppies
"Worms" in puppies are a group of internal parasites that can affect your puppy's health and lead to death if they are not treated. Some types of worms are more serious than others. They are especially dangerous in young puppies. Worms can be spread by mosquito bites and eating the faeces of another infected dog. The best way to deal with worms is to prevent them from becoming a problem in the first place.
No matter how careful you are to protect your puppy, chances are it will have worms. Worm larvae can live dormant in the breasts of a mother dog for years, and then be passed on to the pups through feeding.
The How-To of Worming Puppies
When you take your pup to the vet for a check up, take a sample of its faeces along with you. It may sound gross, but this will allow the vet to analyze your puppy's worm situation.
Always follow the instructions on the worming medication to the letter. If anything written here differs from what it says on the bottle, follow the bottle.
The first dose of dog worming medicine for puppies should be given at 3-4 weeks of age, so you will need to discuss this with the breeder. Find out from the breeder when the next worming is due. Puppies should be wormed every three weeks up until 16 weeks of age.
Dog worming medicine can be given to your puppy through an eye-dropper (the medication should come with this) or mixed in with the puppy's food. I recommend mixing it with food, because this eliminates the chance of your puppy inhaling it straight out of the eye-dropper.
When it comes to worming, remember that preventing problems before they happen is easier, safer and cheaper than trying to cure a very sick puppy. Keep an eye on your puppy's faeces for unusual signs, and if your puppy shows signs of lethargy, convulsions, becoming very bloated or losing weight suddenly, or stomach problems, see your vet as soon as possible.
Common Types of Worms in Puppies
Worm type: Hookworm
Effect on puppy: Hookworms are internal parasites that feed on the dog's blood. This can result in anemia.
Worm type: Heartworm
Effect on puppy: Heartworms can cause lethargy and eventually death in your puppy. They are spread by mosquitoes.
Worm type: Whipworm
Effect on puppy: Whipworms are similar to hookworms and feed on the dog's blood.
Worm type: Roundworm
Effect on puppy: Can move through the puppy's body and damage vital organs before settling in the intestines.
Tapeworms in dogs can't be protected against by most worming medications. Tapeworms are carried by fleas, so if you get rid of fleas in the environment, you kill two birds (or, in this case, parasites) with one stone. Tapeworms cause itchiness around the dog's anus and can be seen clinging to the hair around the anus or wriggling in faeces. Give your dog tapeworm medicine when you see these signs, or once a year to be safe.
NOTE: If you dog is dragging its rear end along the ground this probably doesn't indicate worms. Dogs will sometimes try to itch their anus on the ground when they have worms, but repeatedly dragging the hind alond the ground is a sign of an impacted anal gland and warrants a trip to the vet.
Be sure to keep your Jack Russell puppies healthy by taking them for regular check-ups. You may also want to learn about the process of