Puppy Worms


The breeder probably wormed your new pup several times before he left for his new home. Puppies like to put everything into their mouths, so it is not uncommon for them to get or have worms at a young age. If you notice any of the following signs: diarrhea, vomiting, spaghetti or rice like pieces in the stool, or the pup scooting his rear along the ground, check with the breeder for a commercial wormer to use, or gather a stool sample and take it to your vet.

It is really best to have a fecal exam done to confirm the presence of and what type of worm before using anything other than a palatable commercial type wormer (i.e.: Nemex). But, beware, a negative stool sample does not always guarantee that a dog is worm free since a dog must pass worm segments in that particular stool for it to be detected, which they don’t always do. It is therefore sometimes best to gather a couple or three samples during the same day and take them together to your vet.

Puppy Heartworms

Heartworms are a different type of worm that invade and live in a dogs heart rather than in his intestines, are transmitted by the bite of a mosquito rather than ingested orally or by fleas, and the presence of which must be detected through a blood test rather than through a stool sample. Symptoms of heartworm include a dry, hacking cough, lethargy, and a tendency to tire easily. Heartworm is difficult to cure but easy to prevent. A once a month preventative medication can be given to pups as young as 4 months. A pup does not need to be tested for the presence of heartworm if he is started on the medication prior to his 6th month birthday; however, you absolutely must test any dog older than 6 months before starting him on the medication. You may only want to keep your dog on heartworm preventative during mosquito season, typically Spring and Fall, but you must re-test your dog each time before re-starting him on the medication after he has been off it for more than one month.

Therefore, you might want to consider keeping him on the preventative year round. This will eliminate the need to test as often, though it is still a good idea to test your dog annually for the presence of heartworm even while he is on the preventative just to be certain the preventative has not failed. The other advantage is the new heartworm medications are now designed to prevent hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms as well as heartworms. One additional note, although most vets and other professionals will tell you that the heartworm medication Heartgard is safe to give to Australian Shepherds, the drug, Ivermectin, in Heartgard has been know to cause adverse and even fatal reactions when given to some Aussies. It is therefore strongly recommended that you insist on putting your dog on the preventative called Interceptor. If your vet does not carry Interceptor, ask him to write you a prescription for Interceptor, which you can order through almost any of the vet supply catalogues. If your vet won’t write you a prescription because he says Heartgard is safe to use, go to another vet! It is your dog and your choice!!!



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