Deworming Puppies and Dogs

Deworming Puppies and Dogs

More often than not, our dogs are victims of intestinal parasites, also referred as worms. Most of them develop immunity but at some point during stressful situations like pregnancy, illnesses and diseases, the immunity will break down. These worms then tend to multiply and later on produce symptoms of infection particularly in the intestines. Diarrhea, anemia, weight loss and presence of blood in the feces are the usual signs and symptoms for intestinal parasitism. On the other hand, some worms may cause few or no symptoms at all.

The most common parasites are roundworms and tapeworms which can be seen using you bare eyes, but other worms can’t easily be diagnosed. Sometimes eggs or larvae of Ascaris, hookworms and threadworms migrate in the tissues of the dog and activated only in stressful situations. If worms are suspected, a stool sample should be brought to the veterinarian at least once or twice a year for microscopic examination. Proper diagnosis is important so that the safest and the most effective medication will be prescribed. No particular drug is effective for all kinds of parasite, although some may be effective against more than one species.  It is not right to deworm the dog who suffers from unexplained illness without proper consultation and diagnosis.

DEWORMING A PUPPY

Ascaris and hookworms are most common to puppies. There is presence of other parasites but they are rare. It is recommended to let you veterinarian examine the stool first before giving any deworming agent. Some might need a much stronger and a broader-spectrum medication due to the severity of the case.

Usually, puppies are dewormed at 2 weeks of age before eggs of the Ascaris are eliminated in the feces, and once again in 4th, 6th and 8th week after birth. Then, a monthly deworming is required until 6 months. With this schedule, there will be a higher chance of eliminating all the eggs of the Ascaris even though it is passed through pregnancy, lactation and ingestion. Pyrantel pamoate (suspension) is the drug-of-choice for this because it is safe for a 2 week old puppy. Heartworm prevention will then be given by the veterinarian to eliminate presence of roundworms and hookworms.

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Ringworms on Dogs

Ringworms on Dogs

Contrary to its name, ringworms are not caused by worms but rather fungus called Dermatophytes which means “plants that live on skin”. Before, people thought that these round lesions are caused by worms hence, the term ringworm was given. It is actually a skin problem usually caused by a plant or skin contact to other dogs either direct or indirect contact. It can also be passed from dogs to cats and from cats to dogs and often from human beings to dogs and vise versa. The spore of the fungus usually lives in the environment for a long time. It can be found in carpets, clothes, beddings, etc and infects your dog when it comes into contact with their skin.

The fungus usually stays in hair follicles near the head, ears, tail and front paws which cause hair shafts to break off. This disease would appear as a circle on the dog’s skin with raised edges. It looks like the hair was removed with a pale spot at the center. Other symptoms would include itchiness, scaling and crusty skin with some redness. A patch that is irregular in shape would mean that two or more lesions joined together. It’s easier to see this disease to younger dogs than that of the adults.

The younger dogs and puppies are more susceptible for infection since their immune system has not fully developed yet. Healthy dogs typically develop resistance to ringworms. Some may be carriers but show no symptoms, then later on infect other animals or even human beings.

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Importance of regular check-ups by your Veterinarian

Regular check-ups by Veterinarian

Why are regular check-ups important?  Every dog owner asks this type of question, often. If you failed to do the regular check-ups, then the dog may end up having some major diseases that you don’t know about.  Hence, you need to pay lot of money both to the veterinarians for consultancy and for the required drugs useful for the therapy of the clinical condition.

One may not be able to find out the very commonly occurring clinical conditions in case of their dogs because of less experience with dog diseases or dog rearing.  This is why check ups are important.   For example, if the dog has potbelly, the condition may not look abnormal many times. But if the dog is subjected to the regular check-up, then the veterinarian immediately finds it out and gives the appropriate therapy. If not, the animal may experience diarrhea and the dehydration.

If the dog has any signs of illness, then don’t wait for the regular check-up. Instead, you need to approach the veterinarian immediately. Check ups if done in a regular manner will help to give vaccinations against canine distemper, parvovirus, corona virus, rabies virus, hepatitis virus, and more.
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