Parasitic diseases

How to Treat Parasites in Puppies - Symptoms and Treatment

María Besteiros
By María Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. February 22, 2022
How to Treat Parasites in Puppies - Symptoms and Treatment

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Canine parasites can be a problem for many dogs. Whether external or internal, these pests that infest your pet may eventually live on or in your dog. Some of these parasites can also infect humans. Although these parasites may go undetected in healthy adult dogs, they can certainly cause symptoms in puppies that have weaker immune systems.

Our AnimalWised article explains everything you need to know about parasites in puppies, their symptoms, and how to prevent and treat them.

  1. Types of parasites in puppies
  2. Parasites in newborn puppies
  3. Symptoms of parasites in puppies
  4. What are the treatments for parasites in puppies?

Types of parasites in puppies

Puppies can be infested with different types of parasites. There are external, such as fleas or ticks, and internal, that is, they live inside the body.

Internal parasites in puppies

These parasites can settle in the heart, lungs, or intestines. In this article, we are going to focus on the latter, as it is the most common, and it can be easily and thoroughly dewormed.

Among intestinal parasites, we distinguish between roundworms or nematodes, such as Toxocara canis or hookworms, and flatworms or cestodes, such as tapeworms or echinococci. There are also protozoans such as giardia or coccidia that invade the intestine. Roundworms are the most common in puppies.

External parasites in puppies

The veterinarian can also deworm puppies against external parasites. Other deworming treatments for heart and lung parasites may be prescribed depending on the circumstances of each pet.

How to Treat Parasites in Puppies - Symptoms and Treatment - Types of parasites in puppies

Parasites in newborn puppies

Newborn puppies can be infected through their mothers. Therefore, it is important to deworm all adult dogs and especially pregnant dogs, always following the veterinarian's instructions to ensure that the product chosen is not harmful. The hormones that come into play during pregnancy activate the larvae that could be in the dog's tissues. This causes them to migrate and end up in the uterus, mammary glands, the fetuses themselves or in the intestines.

Parasites in 1 month old puppies

Toxocara canis is the worm that usually affects pregnant dogs and their puppies. They pass from the mother to the puppies, develop and reach maturity when they are two weeks old. By the time that puppies start eating solid food, we can find parasites in them already. As a result, it is advisable to start deworming after fifteen days, since the parasites will have matured by then.

Parasites in 2 month old puppies

Even after a single deworming, parasites can still be found in two-month-old puppies, because that is the age when vaccination begins. Thus, the vet will always deworm before vaccination to ensure that the puppy is parasite-free.

Some of these parasites can infect humans. For this reason, deworming and hygiene are very important. If there are children in the household, special precautions must be taken since they are less particular about cleanliness.

How to Treat Parasites in Puppies - Symptoms and Treatment - Parasites in newborn puppies

Symptoms of parasites in puppies

Parasitic diarrhea in puppies is usually the most common symptom, but it is not the only one. Here are the most common symptoms of parasites in puppies:

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Visible worms, like noodles, in both feces and vomit.
  • Pain in the abdomen.

  • Stunted growth.
  • Poor appearance of the coat.
  • Anemia.
  • Swollen abdomen.

It is important to keep in mind that, just because we do not see the worms does not mean that the puppy is dewormed. A severe infestation in a puppy can be fatal. That's why you need to go to the vet and take deworming seriously.

Sometimes, a dog infested with an intestinal parasite such as Toxocara can also suffer from respiratory symptoms like coughing and pneumonia as the parasite migrates to the lungs. The presence of flatworms is frequently indicated by a kind of rice grain around the anus.

Keep reading the following articles to learn about the different types of parasites that your dog may be at risk of contracting:

Intestinal Parasites

External Parasites

Blood Parasites

How to Treat Parasites in Puppies - Symptoms and Treatment - Symptoms of parasites in puppies

What are the treatments for parasites in puppies?

To treat parasites in puppies, a veterinarian will prescribe the most appropriate medication depending on the dog's needs. If possible, the drug should have a broad spectrum of activity so that it is effective against several types of parasites at once. To make sure it works, it is important to weigh the dog first. This way we can determine the appropriate dose.

Deworming should begin after fifteen days of life and be repeated every two weeks until the puppy is three months old. After that, deworming is done every 3 to 4 months, just like adult dogs, as we discussed in our article How to deworm an adult dog?

Home remedies against parasites in puppies

As for home remedies for parasites in puppies, while garlic and other natural products are often mentioned, the truth is that we should never give our dog anything without a prescription from the vet. A high dosage can be toxic for the puppy. Also, internal deworming should begin at two weeks of age, when the puppy is still eating only breast milk and is not yet ready to eat solid food.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Treat Parasites in Puppies - Symptoms and Treatment, we recommend you visit our Parasitic diseases category.

  • Carlson and Giffin. (2002). Canine Veterinary Practice Manual . Madrid. Editorial el Drac.
  • Lloria i Llàcer, Maria Teresa. (2001). Endoparasitosis in companion animals. Prevention . Elsevier vol. 15, no. 9. pgs. 108-111.
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How to Treat Parasites in Puppies - Symptoms and Treatment