Puppies and Parasitism
Round worms, hookworms and other parasites are common in our dogs and puppies. They are so common that many consider them more of a nuisance than a significant problem. However, worms can cause significant disease, especially in young puppies resulting in losses in any breeding program. Nematodes can cause poor growth rates, vomiting, diarrhea, pneumonia from migrating larva, anemia and in some cases death. It is important to have a good parasite control program to prevent these problems and have happy, healthy pups
Dogs get worms from the environment, either from contaminated soil or from eating a paratenic host such as mice or earthworms. The larva penetrate the small intestines and then migrate through the tissues to the liver and lung where they are coughed up and swallowed. This migration is what’s responsible for pneumonia associated with roundworm in puppies. The adult worms then mature in the gut and start producing eggs so the life cycle continues.
However not all worms complete their life cycle right away. Some of those migrating larva stop during their travels and encyst in the tissue. It is important to be aware that while these larva are migrating or encysted, they will NOT be killed by our deworming products. Only adult worms in the gut are killed when you give these medications. These cysts are waiting for a better opportunity to infect a new host. This is a process called hypobiosis. When your bitch is pregnant and is close to delivery, the hormones of pregnancy and lactation activate these cysts and they start migrating again. They will go to the gut to produce eggs while the bitch is stressed, but they will also cross the placenta and the mammary gland. This is called periparturient rise and is how many puppies are born already infected with worms.
We recommend regular deworming of both the dam and the puppies to prevent parasite damage. Deworming protocols include deworming the bitch and pups with pyrantel pamoate every 2 weeks starting when the pups are 2 weeks of age. Alternatively you can deworm with Panacur 3 weeks prior to delivery of the pups and then treat both the dam and pups on days 2-4 and again in 2 weeks. It IS possible to prevent transplacental and transmammary transmission by deworming the pregnant bitch EVERY DAY from day 40 of gestation until 2 weeks Postpartum. With this protocol it is not necessary to deworm the puppies, provided they are in an environment clean of parasite eggs. Roundworm eggs can persist in the environment for up to 2 years so these puppies cannot be exposed to soil where previously infected dogs have been eliminating.
Contact our Repro department to help determine what parasite control program will work best for you!