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Why Does My New Puppy Have Worms?

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

Dog breeding is challenging when you discover your new litter of puppies has worms. This is not uncommon but can pose a threat to their development if left untreated. We struggle with this as breeders and do our best to bring the situation under control.

Think about worms like this; parasites are to dogs/puppies as weeds are to a gardener they are a nuisance and an aggravation, that we are constantly fighting until we can get them under-control at least for a season.

We care for our breeding dogs (male/female) but when a female undergoes tremendous stress, her immune system is weakened and parasites are transferred through her milk to puppies, and of course puppies’ immune system(s) are weak. They need dam’s antibodies that she provides for them through her milk. I know this doesn’t sound fair, since dams’ milk is necessary and rich with wonderful nutrients for her puppies development.

However, I get informed of this “illness” when the new puppy owners take puppy to their first veterinarian visit. I have had 2 puppy owners contact me recently and in years past informing me of this diagnosis, and they ask me why I didn’t tell them when they picked puppy up. I have an answer for this question; “Because puppy didn’t test positive for worms at the time he/she was seen by our licensed veterinarian.” It can reoccur for weeks, sometimes months, during puppy’s development, but once puppy’s immune system becomes stronger, then it should resolve itself under the care of a licensed veterinarian.

Note: ** In my life of owning dogs, I have purchased only one puppy from an outside breeder that didn’t have worms, and she was an English Mastiff. **

I received my parasite control certification through the University of Oklahoma, and it’s common place for all animals, large and small, to naturally have parasites of varying degree(s). As humans we have little bugs in our gastrointestinal system too. On a farm 20% of livestock cause 80% of the infestations. It’s very serious, so I don’t take it lightly when I send our puppies to their forever home. However, if left untreated this is dangerous to puppy and other pets at the new home. Don’t assume that your pets are 100% free from carrying worms. Do your own research regarding parasites and be vigilant; educate yourself to help recognize the signs of worms.

Please, don’t treat for worms if you have NOT consulted with a veterinarian. Early treatment can result in creating an environment for the worm (parasite) to become resistant to treatment. Therefore, we alternate our medication(s) for all our animals on our farm to make sure the parasites don’t become comfortable with one form of treatment.

If this were uncommon, we wouldn’t have a billion-dollar industry for products for the treatment of parasites. Does Ivermectin sound familiar?

Don’t forget to discuss monthly heart worm treatment for your puppy and all your furry family members. The height of the parasite season is April thru October. However, don’t think that you should stop heartworm treatment for your dog during winter months, the parasites are dormant in their warm environment waiting to rear their ugly heads come spring.

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