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All dogs, from the time they are born to walking in the park, are susceptible to worms. Pregnancy reduces the effectiveness of the mother’s immune system, so worms can travel and infect unborn puppies in utero before they are even born. This is why adopting a regular worming routine from the moment your dog comes home. Failing to do so can result in health problems for your pet, increased risk of infection to other pets, and the risk of infection to yourself and your family.
Unfortunately, worm eggs are everywhere.
As already mentioned, puppies are often born with worms. As they grow into adult dogs and begin to go outside, they are at risk of becoming infected by worms.
The most common way your dog may become infected is by:
· From fleas and occasionally lice
· Picking up worm eggs from the grass or soil in public places, which are then ingested while grooming
· Eating dead carcasses like sheep or rabbits, which are infected with worms
· Eating undercooked meat
To minimise the risk of contamination, it is important that all pet owners clean up after their dogs. Worm eggs need to “mature” for up to two weeks on the grass before they become infective, so “scooping the poop” should always be carried out immediately and safely, whether in an urban or rural environment. This is quite safe to do so long as you follow basic hygiene practices.
Humans can become infected by worms – this has been linked to blindness and even asthma, especially in children.
After handling faeces, wash your hands, or if out on a dog walk use hand sanitiser. This will help minimise the spread of bacteria as well as worm eggs.
The best way to fight worms is by becoming a seasoned wormer. This is easy to achieve by simply sticking to a regular worming routine, which will help keep your dog and your family safe.
Adult dogs should be wormed at least every three months – that’s one treatment for every season - to minimise the spread of worm eggs. Nursing bitches and puppies should be wormed more often than adult dogs (initially every two weeks), until the puppies are 12 weeks old and a strong immune response has developed. You must check that the product you want to use for your feeding dog and puppies is suitable before commencing treatment. For additional advice about worming pregnant or nursing dogs, contact your vet.
Link: seasoned wormers blog