Who doesn’t like seeing their adorable furry companions hopping and wagging joyfully in the house? As a dog parent, it is obvious to love your pup’s zestful nature but on the contracting side, this can expose various threats to your dog’s health. And parasitic attack is just one of them. Even if your pooch stays indoor and hardly goes out for a walk, they are prone to get infected from worm infestations. From paddocks and backyards to insects and undercooked meat, your dogs can catch worms from anywhere. Thus, deworming your dogs becomes an imperative part of their life.
Whether you have adopted a puppy or an older dog, just like vaccination, deworming is always an essential part of their schedule.
Timeline for Deworming Vaccine
Starting at three weeks of age, deworming should be done every two weeks (for puppies).
From twelve weeks of age to six months, deworming medications should be given every month.
And from six months, deworming should be done every two or three months (adult dogs).
You can also find the full list of all the vaccinations and schedule here.
What Are Worms and What Is Deworming?
Worms are vile parasites that if untreated, can pose a significant threat to your dog’s health. Hence, deworming becomes your dog’s absolute necessity.
Deworming is the process of eliminating these parasites from your pooch’s body that enter through the faeces or eggs of larvae (that comes in contact with your dog’s body). These parasites stick to the intestine of dogs and extract nutrition from the tissue.
Dog worms are often found in the dirt or can be transmitted by fleas or mosquitoes. Even healthy dogs host a low level of worms nearly all the time. Keeping your dogs on a deworming schedule is another step to prevent the spread of worms, deworming vaccination remains the first. Puppies that are not given proper vaccinations, are more prone to these infections and suffer from growth retardation. You should always give your dog proper vaccines and also get them a timely checkup.
Types of Dog Worms
Your pooch can pick up internal parasites throughout their daily life. There are five major types of worms that can affect their body and health. These include-
- Hookworms- These parasites have hook-like teeth and can attach themselves to your dog’s intestinal lining. They breed thousands of eggs in just a few days, making your dogs sick. Your dogs can pick up hookworms while walking through wet grass or contaminated soil.
- Roundworms- They can be found in contaminated soil and faeces. Some dogs are apt to eat or smell them, getting worms in their body. If left untreated, these can cause serious infections. The symptoms include- vomiting, lethargic behaviour, swollen tummy, or colic.
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- Tapeworms- Tapeworms are long segmented worms caught in your dog’s fur, around the anus. They look like grains of rice and are mostly transmitted through fleas and infected soil. Many dogs show no symptoms of tapeworm infestation while others can.
- Whipworms- Just like tapeworms, whipworms are also found in infected soil. Dog’s might lick their paws after a walk in the soil or just burrow their nose in it, inviting the whipworm infections. The worm can often lead to severe diarrhoea.
- Heartworms- It is a preventable but serious and potentially fatal parasite. These are transmitted by mosquitoes and can fill your dog’s lung and heart area. As the infection progresses, your pooch may cough, lose their appetite, become lethargic, and may even have difficulty in breathing.
The reason for dogs to be properly vaccinated and dewormed from time to time is to help them avoid getting any kind of infections from the worms.
Signs of Worms in Dogs
Tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and heartworms are common internal parasites in dogs. Although any worm infestation can make your dogs uncomfortable and sick, these can be deadly for your puppies. Symptoms that show your dogs may have worms include-
- Loss of appetite
- Rough and dry coat
- Itching or skin irritation
- Low energy or lethargic behaviour
- Pot-bellied appearance
Preventing Worms in Dogs
Worm infestations are common in every dog. Your dogs can catch these infections anywhere from playing in gardens, going for a walk, licking their paws, and in many other ways. Although you cannot completely avoid your dogs from getting worms, you can follow the two major steps- timely vaccinations and deworming procedures to get rid of them before they infect your pooch’s body.
Also, you should feed them a wholesome, nutritious diet and help them practice plenty of exercises, to make their body resilient against parasitic infections.
Intestinal parasites are very common in puppies and dogs and a dewormer can be efficient in protecting your dogs from diseases caused by these parasites. Get your pooch scheduled vaccinations, deworm them from time to time, and consult a vet if you see any notable symptoms in your dogs.
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