Roundworms in dogs can wreak a lot of havoc, and can be especially dangerous on puppies.
The roundworm makes its home in your dog's intestines, and though they are not blood suckers as some of the other intestinal parasites are, they do rob your dog of the nourishment he needs to thrive.
Roundworms in dogs also irritate the intestines and cause diarrhea or constipation.
They are long and resemble strands of spaghetti.
More often than not, if your pup has roundworm, you will see the live worms in his stool. Occasionally, your pup may vomit up roundworms, which is truly gross.
Generally, when a puppy has that pot-bellied look, it is from roundworms. Puppies that are heavy infested with this worm can get pneumonia, and sometimes die.
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It comes as a surprise to many when they learn that puppies are actually born with this parasite.
Even when your adult dogs have been checked and passed all tests for being worm-free, pregnancy and nursing changes all of that!
Dormant larvae reside in the momma's body and for whatever scientific reason, pregnancy and nursing awaken the larvae so the cycle repeats itself again.
Nothing can prevent this, it is just a cycle of life.
The good news is, roundworm treatment is easy. It may take several treatments to rid your dogs of them, but it can be done.
If you have a litter of puppies, it is of the utmost importance that worming gets started at 2 weeks of age before this parasite gets the chance to quickly reproduce.
If you obtained a puppy at 6 or 8 weeks of age, make sure you start her on a dewormer immediately.
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Since dewormers target the adult parasite only, wormings need to be done every 2 weeks, so that any maturing larvae can then be eradicated.
There are some great over the counter wormers that work extremely well on roundworms.
The ingredient you need is pyrantel pamoate and it is safe for even 2 week old pups.
I love Nemex 2 and have been very pleased with it.
Evict is another brand that also does a good job, but if you choose Evict, you will be happier with the double strength (Evict DS) since you will not have to give as much per dosage.
An oral syringe works great for measuring the correct dose of the wormer to give to your pup. Most pharmacies will give you one if you tell them what you want it for, and absolutely weigh your puppy as she needs to have an accurately measured dose since it goes by weight.
Monthly heartworm preventatives will help kill some roundworms in dogs, while providing the heartworm preventative your dogs need, but that is only after the roundworm infestation is under control.
I keep all of my puppies on the pyrantel pamoate until they are 12 weeks of age. Then I switch them over to a heartworm preventative.