Watch out for Worms

Dogs are commonly infected by worms e.g. hookworms, roundworms and tapeworms and these pose a threat to their health, as well as posing a threat to the health of humans.Ask your Vet for his recommendations on de-worming your puppy and which de-wormer to use. In general though, a puppy aged 4-12 weeks should be de-wormed every two weeks. From 12 weeks to 6 months puppies’ should be de-wormed monthly and after 6 months, right through adulthood, dogs should be dewormed every 3 months.

Dogs and puppies pick up worms in various ways:

  • By licking the ground or by drinking contaminated water
  • Ingesting fleas, which transmit tapeworm, while grooming themselves
  • By being passed through the placenta, from the mother to the puppy before birth
  • By being transmitted from the mother to the puppy when she suckles them
  • From scavenging or hunting
  • From eating raw meat

Look out for the following symptoms which may indicate that your puppy has worms:

  • The puppy drags his bottom across the ground
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration and diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Pot-bellied appearance
  • Anaemia (pale gums and eye membranes)
  • The evidence of worms in faeces looks like grains of rice

If your puppy has any of these symptoms or you think he has worms, take him to the vet immediately.

Here are some hints on protecting your family from worms:

  • Always wash your hands after playing with your pets
  • Never allow any of your pets to lick your face and discourage your children from allowing this behaviour
  • If you have a veggie garden, fence it off so that your pets do not have access to it. Animals must not defecate near your food
  • Wash all your vegetables thoroughly, whether bought from a store or grown in your garden
  • Do not share utensils with your pets
  • Make sure that all meat you give your pets is well cooked
  • De-worm your pets regularly

*It is important to de-worm your family members twice a year. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist for their advice.