Worming Your Dog
This information is only intended to help you make informed decisions in the care of your loved pets, and should in no way be considered as veterinary advice. You should always seek out the advice of a trusted registered vet.
Worms are not a pleasant topic but can affect new-born puppies to adult dogs
The BSAVA (British Small Animal Veterinary Association) recommends that puppies should have been treated for roundworms at 2 weeks of age and repeated until the age of 12-14 weeks. Please click here to review the BSAVA Report.
In pregnant bitches, worming is essential. Although it will not completely eradicate transfer of worms to the puppy, it will drastically reduce it. Pregnant bitches should be treated from day 40 of pregnancy to 2 days post-birth with Fenbendazole (Panacur).
NB – Not all products are suitable for use in pregnancy; always consult your veterinary surgeon for advice regarding suitable products to use.
Do not forget to also regularly treat your bitch for fleas, as the flea is the intermediate host of the common tapeworm Dipylidium.
Puppies are often infested with roundworms at the time of birth, direct from their mother’s womb. This infection is reinforced by worm larvae being present in the mother’s milk and faeces. This worm can infect humans; therefore active worming is essential.
In young puppies worming is essential from 2 weeks of age as the pups may have been infected in the uterus (before birth) and will soon ingest worms in the mother’s milk and from the mother’s faeces if the mother is carrying an infestation also.
Wormer’s are available for puppies from 2 weeks of age (these contain fenbendazole) covering the following worms:
- gastro-intestinal tapeworms (Taenia and Dipylidium)
- gastro-intestinal roundworms (Toxocara canis)
- Hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum)
- Whipworms (Trichuris vulpis)
- Giardia infections (Giardiasis)
Weaned puppies should be wormed every two weeks from 2 weeks of age until 12 weeks of age, and then every month until the puppy is 6 months of age when they can be treated as adults (de-wormed every 3 months).
For more detailed information, please read the BSAVA review of worm control in dogs, prepared by Maggie Fisher (Petsavers Grant Recipient) by clicking here.
From 6 Months To Adult
An option to consider is faecal (poo) egg count sampling every 3 months and treating when needed. Stool sample collecting bottles can be obtained from your vet. The samples should be taken over 3 days, placed in the same bottle and returned to the vet for testing at a cost of around £20. If you have more then one dog place all the samples in 1 bottle and test them together. If one dog is infected, you should treat all the dogs in the same household.
This has been a growing concern among dog owner in the UK. Known cases are clearly on the rise and now are seen in areas outside of Wales and the South West. The “Be Lungworm Aware” campaign has found its way into many veterinary surgeries and the dog press, run by the pharmaceutical manufacture Bayer. Get informed and see a vet if you have any concerns about the health of your dog.
Here are a few websites that are worth looking at before you accept monthly treatment for lungworm:
- Lungworms in Dogs – from the Professors House website
- Chemical Wormers – are we using too many? by WormCount
Fleas And Ticks
At Nutriment, we have a whole array of dogs in the office, all sizes, shapes with short and long coats. When it comes to fleas the best approach is a simple bath using a very mild soap. We very rarely see fleas. If you feel your cat or dog may be suffering from fleas or you have seen one jump up onto your arm, have a look under the upper part of the legs. If your pet has fleas, this is a likely place to find them. You may not see a flea but also look for small black specks (flea pooh) on the skin. If you suspect fleas, it’s time for the bath. Long and thick coated pets may need two washes a couple of days apart. Be sure to wash all bedding and tumble dry it if you can – and give the house a good vacuum. In most mild cases where the infestation has not been long this should be sufficient.
If necessary, there are also a number of natural flea control solutions which you should consider before resorting to chemicals or medication:
1. Rosemary Flea Dip
Steep two cups of fresh rosemary in boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid, discard the leaves and add up to a gallon of warm water depending on the size of your dog. Wait until it cools but is still warm and pour over your dog until he’s soaked. Allow your dog to dry naturally. Works especially well on hot summer days.
2. Lavender Essential Oil
Wash your dog thoroughly and towel dry. Apply a few drops of lavender essential oil to the base of the tail and another at the neck.
3. Brewer’s Yeast
Add a small Brewer’s yeast tablets to your dog’s food. Much like prescription meds (but much healthier), this is excreted through Fido’s skin making him less attractive to fleas. Check with your veterinarian for the proper dosages depending on weight.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
A spoonful of this stuff added to your dog’s water makes their skin more acidic and not-at-all tasty to fleas. If apple cider vinegar is not your dog’s cup of tea, you can dilute it 50/50 with water, pour into a spray bottle and use as a repellent.
5. Lemon Spray Repellent
Cut a lemon into quarters, cover with boiling water and let it steep overnight. In the morning, spray all over your dog, especially behind the ears and around the head generally (be careful of his eyes), around the base of the tail, and under your dog’s legs.
If your dog has a severe flea problem, it is often a signal that their health is not as it should be. Many commercial pet foods are nutritionally inadequate and contain harmful additives and by-products. A fresh, whole, raw food such as Nutriment is vital because it provides digestive enzymes and vitamins that can be destroyed by cooking. By feeding your animals a high-quality, natural diet, free of additives and preservatives, you improve their health and dramatically increase their protection from fleas. A healthy animal does not taste or smell as good to fleas.
As a last resort speak to your vet about a spot on treatment but before you do please read this report:
Flea and Tick Product Ingredients: What You Should Know
“In 2000, the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report called Poisons on Pets: Health Hazards from Flea and Tick Products. The report also demonstrated a link between chemicals commonly used in flea and tick products and serious health problems in both people and pets.”
How to remove ticks
You can find similar products at most pet stores. In the warmer months when ticks are more of a problem, check your dog after every walk. Also give your cats and dogs a good check once a week. If you do find one don’t panic! To see how simple they are to remove watch this video:
How to remove ticks videoWorming, Fleas and Ticks