Last updated Aug. 12 2019 | 2 min read
Total Puppy Care: The Importance Of Vaccinations and Guarding Against Potent Over-The-Counter Medications
Never give your puppy any parasite-killing medications unless they have been authorized by your veterinarian. It is important to keep in mind that these preparations, although can be purchased over-the-counter and without a prescription, can have side effects just like all other drugs.
Remember, there are many different types of parasites: hookworms, ascarids, tapeworms, whipworms, coccidia – all of which are most commonly identified. Since some of the parasites are quite difficult to kill, while others are relatively simple, many of these over-the-counter preparations must be quite toxic to fulfill their claims of being all-purpose anthelmintics. Therefore, you may be medicating your puppy with a very potent worm medicine which could be eradicated more easily with something less dangerous to your dog’s health.
These medications are poisons after all, designed to kill living creatures that are inhabiting your puppy’s body, And they have the potential to kill your pet along with these parasites. Proper worming also takes into account the life cycle of the specific parasite involved and this life cycle varies for each individual pest.
In order to assure prompt, efficient eradication of internal parasites without repeated need for re-worming, anthelmintics must be administered on a schedule that coincides with their life cycles and kills, in turn, the adult worm, the larval form, and the worm eggs.
Having The Correct Tests Done
Since animals may harbor any number of different parasites simultaneously, it is important to determine exactly which of the internal parasites are present in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. This is done by submitting a fecal sample (sample of your puppy’s bowel movement) to the veterinarian for laboratory analysis.
By microscopic examination, he can identify the eggs produced by the offending parasite and will then be able to administer specific medications, in proper amounts and at proper intervals, to rid your dog of internal pests.
Intestinal parasites are often responsible for more serious problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, severe anemia, malnutrition, central nervous system signs (ataxia, convulsions), and verminous pneumonia. Since patent medications cannot deal with these problems at all, it is vitally important to worm only under veterinary supervision.
And of course, do not make the mistake of assuming that a parasitic condition that your puppy has will magically disappear without treatment. If you see worms in and around your dog’s fecal matter, you must take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible before severe internal damage, and possibly death, may occur.