Puppy deworming: Prevention and Treatment
With proper care, it is possible to significantly reduce the risk of your puppies getting intestinal parasites. That, in combination with preventative medication, will almost surely prevent your puppy from having stool issues. Here are some tools and tips that we adhere to at Blue Bayou Frenchies to assist in the prevention or treatment of parasites, including but not limited to hookworm, tapeworm, roundworm, whipworm, coccidia, and giardia.
Feed a high-quality diet: Feed your puppy a high-quality diet that is appropriate for their age and size. This can help boost their immune system and make them less susceptible to worms. We feed our puppies a mixture of Purina Pro Plan Puppy & Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula.
Deworm regularly: Have your puppy dewormed regularly. Puppies can get worms from their mother before or after birth and during nursing. We deworm our puppies with Pyrantel Pamoate at 2 and 4 weeks old. Pyrantel is more palatable and easier on the gut than most other dewormers, which is why we use it in the first month of life. This dewormer should be given at 0.1cc/lb. We recommend a 3-day preventative treatment. At 6 and 8 weeks old, we use Safeguard (fenbendazole). The liquid does NOT taste good, and it can be a struggle to get your pup to take the entire dose. For this, we recommend using the Safeguard granules that can be sprinkled into their regular meal or mixed into a treat like a tablespoon of peanut butter or cream cheese.
Prevent external parasites: Prevent external parasites such as fleas and ticks, which can also carry worms and infect your puppy. This can be done with a monthly preventative such as Simparica Trio. Simparica Trio is used on all of our dogs and puppies after they reach 8 weeks old. Simparica Trio protects against heartworm, most intestinal worms, fleas, and ticks with 1 chewable treat.
Keep an eye on symptoms: Be aware of the common symptoms of worms in puppies, such as diarrhea, bloating, bloody stool, vomiting, and weight loss. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your puppy to the vet for a check-up. Depending on the type of parasite and the severity, you may also be able to see live worms in their stool.
Clean your water dishes EVERY DAY. It is imperative to clean and sanitize your water bowls daily. This is even more pertinent if your pup has a water bowl that stays outside. What will happen if you leave the bowls outside and do not wash them is that other critters, such as rats, mice, birds, insects, squirrels, etc., will use that same water dish when you aren't looking! And there is a GOOD chance that those critters have parasites that you do NOT want. Giardia is the main concern here. Giardia is a terrible little parasite that chops away at your puppy's intestinal lining, which causes abdominal swelling and bloody diarrhea. While it is possible to diagnose on a home microscope for those that know what they are looking for, it is very likely that your vet will want to send the fecal sample off to a lab for confirmation. If found, the treatment for giardia is metronidazole or safeguard, or a combination of the 2. Always consult with your vet for the appropriate medication and dosage for your pet's needs.
Sanitize everything EVERY DAY. We use Wysiwash disinfectant to clean and sanitize our entire yard, rocks, concrete, playpens, toys, and grass. EVERYTHING gets sanitized. Luckily this formula is safe on grass and most plants, so it is okay to spray away! This product is safe on the paws, although we do a rinse-off before letting the dogs play. In just 1 minute of contact/saturation, this cleaner will disinfect 99.999% of bacteria.
It's important to note that puppies should be dewormed on a schedule recommended by a veterinarian, as puppies have different needs than adult dogs and may require more frequent deworming.