Worming Schedule for Puppies, Kittens, Cats & Dogs
Worms can be one of the most common and frustrating ailments of puppies and kittens but sometimes it can be the easiest to fix. Hookworms and roundworms are by far the most common worms found in puppies and kittens. Roundworms compete with your pet for food and can cause malnutrition or intestinal obstruction. Hookworms live on intestinal blood and can cause anemia.
Strategic Deworming Guidelines
Strategic deworming is a practice recommended by the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
• Every 2 weeks until 3 months of age, starting at 2 weeks old.
• Once a month from 3 to 6 months of age
• After 6 months, follow adult recommendations. Also after six months, use a heartworm preventative medication that is effective against hookworms and roundworms.
• Every 2 weeks until 3 months of age, starting at 3 weeks old.
• Once a month from 3 to 6 months of age.
• After 6 months, follow adult recommendations.
Adult Dogs and Cats
• Treat regularly, considering potential exposure to parasites (example: four times a year)
• A continued surveillance of parasite prevalence in your area is recommended.
Bitches and Queens
• Once prior to mating
• Once at birthing
• Lactating bitches and queens should be treated concurrently with puppies and kittens.
Newly Acquired Animals
Note: Obtain the deworming history of the new pet from previous owner.
• Worm Immediately; then repeat after 2 weeks, then follow guidelines above.
The first indication that a dog or cat is infected with some type of parasite is, very often, the presence of “something” in the dog’s or cat’s feces. If your dog or cat (or other pet) passes anything unusual in its feces, SAVE IT! Your veterinarian will usually find it more helpful to “see” what was in your pet’s feces than to listen to your description of it. The best way to save such specimens is to pick them out of your pet’s feces and put them into a container containing some alcohol (rubbing alcohol works fine). The alcohol will kill and preserve the specimen.
Dog worms can cause serious health problems if left untreated. Here is a look at the five common dog worm’s types and the symptoms that may appear in your dog when an infestation occurs.
Basic Facts About Dog Worms
Dog worms can almost always be prevented, but sometimes even the most well cared for canine will come down with a case of worms. Vigilance in the treatment of this problem will help reduce the worst side effects. Using the proper flea medication can help reduce cases of tape worms. Using a prescribed heart worm treatment plan from the vet will help assure that the dog in your life doesn’t contract heart worms. Many factors lead to can lead to dog worms. Types of treatment methods vary in intensity according to the extent of the infection.
There are basically five types of common dog worms. The most common type of worm infestation, especially in young puppies, is roundworms. Roundworms can be passed from a mother dog to her newborn pups via her blood and/or milk. Dogs can also acquire roundworms by licking the ground where roundworm larvae are and by eating small animals that carry the worms. Puppies that are born with roundworms may appear weak and thin at birth. Their stomachs may look quite distended. They may also have a cough, have a dry coat and may begin to vomit. Often times the owner can see the worms in the dog’s stool. Roundworms have an appearance similar to a white, round piece of spaghetti. They are normally from one to three inches long and may appear to be coiled like a spring. Roundworms can be passed to children, so it is important to have the dog treated by a vet for the infestation. Preventing roundworm infestations in puppies can begin as early as two weeks of age.
Heart worms are caused by the bite of a mosquito. When a mosquito bites the dog, tiny heart worms enter the blood stream. They mature inside the heart itself and can grow to the size of between five and twelve inches long. A dog that has heart worms will usually have a cough and become tired very quickly. Dogs that live in warm climates are especially prone to being infected with heartworm’s, so it is very important that all dogs, but especially those living in the warmer states, be placed on a heartworm prevention program as soon as they are old enough.
Hookworms are commonly found in puppies, but can also affect older dogs too. Dogs can contract hookworms by ingesting the parasites larvae, or from their mothers before birth. Hookworms cannot be seen by the naked eye and must be looked at under a microscope. They are tiny, white and slender, with a hooked mouth. Keeping the area clean where the dog sleeps and plays is a good way to avoid a hookworm infestation.
Tapeworms can be caused by a dog eating an infected animal or by fleas. Tapeworms are some of the most visible worms and appear as off white grains of rice in the dog’s stool or on the coat or skin. Commonly, whole tapeworms appear also, and will look like flat, long strings of spaghetti. A flea treatment program can help defend the dog against tapeworms.
Whipworms are thin, white and shaped like a whip. They are less than an inch long and hard to see without a microscope. Whipworms live in the dog’s lower intestines. Most dogs with whipworms will have symptoms that include weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting and weakness.
While there may be different varieties of dog worms, types include roundworms, heart worms, hookworms, tapeworms and whipworms. All types of dog worms are treatable, but prevention is always the best way to go. Speaking with your vet about the many ways to prevent dog worms will help ensure that your dog can avoid the side effects of coming down with a worm infestation of any sort.