Roundworms

If your puppy's dam has ever had roundworms (and it is quite likely that she has), her pups probably will be born with roundworms. Some larvae encyst in the mother's tissue and, in the late stages of pregnancy, the dormant larvae are released and carried to the unborn puppies. They are also passed on through breast milk. This is why it is always advisable to deworm a female before she is bred—although doing so will not rid her of the encysted larvae. For this reason, puppies must be dewormed by the time they are two or three weeks of age.

Vaccines

What vaccines dogs need and how often they need them has been a subject of controversy for several years. Researchers, health care professionals, vaccine manufacturers, and dog owners do not always agree on which vaccines each dog needs or how often booster shots must be given.

In 2003, the American Animal Hospital Association released vaccination guidelines and recommendations that have helped dog owners and veterinarians sort through much of the controversy and conflicting information. The guidelines designate four vaccines as core, or essential, because of the serious nature of the diseases and their widespread distribution. These are canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, canine adenovirus-2, and rabies. The general recommendations for their use (except rabies, for which you must follow local laws) are:

• Vaccinate puppies at 6-8 weeks, 9-11 weeks, and 12-14 weeks.

• Give a booster shot when the dog is 1 year old.

Roundworms will be passed in the feces. The treatment should be repeated at least once more about two weeks later. A third, or even fourth, course of treatment may be necessary if worms are found after the previous treatment. The usual medication used to treat roundworms in puppies is very safe. Roundworms are not much of a problem in adults, but puppies can die from a heavy infestation.

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Responses

  • jennifer
    Are roundworms common in jack russell puppies?
    7 years ago

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