Any puppy can get parasites at any time in their life. Even dogs that are regularly wormed still get a parasite every now and then. All puppies will get parasites like round worms from their mom or on the mom’s nipples from her being outside, that is why breeders worm pups every two weeks until they leave to their new homes and additional wormings may be needed. Sometimes wormers do not get them all and they are absolutely everywhere in our environment. Routine vet care, monthly wormings, and watching for changes in your pets behavior or soft stools, are your best defense. We recommend getting a fecal test done at your first vet visit with your new puppy and any time your pup has soft stools for more then a day or is acting lethargic or not eating or drinking well. If a puppy has recently been wormed you may see a few worms in their fecal for up to a week later, they are dead and dying worms from the last worming. If ever in doubt take fecal to vet with your pup’s shot record for vet to look through it. People can “in rare cases” contract a parasite from their pet. It is extremely rare because you have to ingest the fecal matter and that fecal would have to have the parasite in it which not all fecals do. People are also more hardy creatures and if a human gets a parasite they may have a tummy ache and softer stools on and off and do not get as sick as a puppy can get. Hand washing and using gloves, (while cleaning up fecal), if your dog has parasites will stop the spreading around of fecal. Always consult your dr if you feel you may have contracted a parasite.
WORMS: If puppy has a fecal test positive for worms: if it is within first week of you getting your pup from us please let us know and we will pay for the first round of wormer as the health guarantee says. In most cases it is just a couple of parasites still left over from our wormings. Our pups are not raised in a plastic box! They and their parents are allowed to play outside and go on outings as family pets and so may pick something up, we worm pups every two weeks and parents every month to kill anything they may pick up but that may not kill every parasite and a worming schedule is a must for any puppy or dog. If your vet sees parasites in the puppy fecal test he will give you a wormer and you should give as directed by your vet. Most worms are gone with a simple 1-3 day wormer treatment. You may very well see a few dead or dying worms in your pup’s fecal after it has been wormed. That is good because it means the wormer is doing it’s job. You should put your puppy on a monthly wormer as your monthly pet care. Pups should be wormed every two weeks until 12 wks old and then after a negative fecal check, should get wormed once a month every month for the rest of their life after that. If puppy is not eating or drinking at any time, please contact me so I can give you some tips. Make sure your puppy eats well after any worming, vaccine, or medicine is given, syringe feed if needed!
GIARDIA, TRITRICHOMONAS, OR OTHER PROTOZOAN: If puppy has a fecal test positive for a protozoan such as Giardia or Tritrichomonas here is what I have done:
These protozoan are in infected fecal matter and can also be in dirt and water puddles. Puppies can get it from mom if mom goes outside in the grass at all, which all our adult dogs and pups play and go outside to potty as they are all family pets. Best to try and keep your pup from drinking water in puddles or where other animals, even wild animals, have went poop, but if your pup contracts this you can rest assured there is a medicine that will fix it. If your pup has this within the first week of transfer we will pay for the first round of medicine as stated in the health guarantee. Remember our pups are allowed to play on our farm and so on occasion will pick up a parasite, even though we worm every 2 weeks some parasites are not killed by routine wormers. Giardia actually takes at least 10 days of panacur and metro wormer to kill off, but routine wormings of pups is a three day wormer or a one day wormer. there will be some pups that will catch this from being on a farm, a good breeder will explain this and help pay for wormer as we do if it shows up in your new pup soon after transfer. So Here is a list of what I do myself when a pup or adult dog has this:
1. I first make sure the pup is well hydrated and drinking water, if not I will syringe water or Gatorade. Gatorade has electrolytes that are good if the pup has loose stools. If pup is extremely dehydrated you may need to get a bag of saline from your vet and have him show you how to administer fluids under the skin for a few days to hydrate the puppy. Amount is very important because giving to much is just as bad as not giving any at all and can kill a puppy. In most cases sub-q fluids are not needed. Pups usually drink even if they are not eating.
2. If pup has not been eating you may need to syringe food. Care would be like that for a teacup puppy that is not eating. Your vet can show you how to syringe soft food. Again this is not needed most of the time.
3. Your vet would have given you a medicine for your puppy. Give these meds exactly as directed.
4. Keep pup from being around his poop /fecal matter. I do this by keeping a newborn, preemie, or babydoll disposable diaper,”put on backwards”, on the puppy and change the diaper as needed throughout the day. You could also instead of using a diaper, keep puppy up on wire or a grated surface so poop falls through so pup does not ever get to the poop, or keep another crate handy and switch out pup when it poops, cleaning and disinfecting crates after each poop and drying the crate out well. This way you are not putting the protozoan anywhere in the puppy’s environment. If using the diaper method: When you change the diaper you will need to give the puppy a bath with a disinfecting skin soap around his rear and legs/feet to clean off any poop on his fur, dry him well, and then put a new diaper on. I usually change a diaper on a pup 4 or 5 times a day, or each time I notice poop in it. Poop can make skin raw so use diaper ointment if needed. I also use an e-collar that keeps the puppy from chewing through his diaper if needed. Your vet will have these. You must allow the puppy times without collar and diaper on through out the day. I usually do this after each changing of the diaper, just allowing puppy to be free without the e-collar and diaper for about half an hour so it can eat and drink and move around a while and just keep an eye out for any bowel movements. It is very important to weigh the puppy every day and make sure there is no loss of weight, also pinch skin to see if hydration level is ok. If there is loss of weight the puppy is either getting dehydrated or is not eating enough food. Make sure to wash puppy’s cage once a day or as needed with bleach water and wash bowls everyday with bleach water or more often if you see fecal matter, and most importantly wash your hands every time you touch the puppy or puppy’s things until he is cleared of the protozoan. In my experience if you use the diaper method they get over it much quicker because they are not reinfecting themselves with it. It usually takes 10-14 days to get a cleared stool sample and sometimes it can take longer but I have always had them clear by day 10 if using the diaper method. I usually do the diaper method 7 to 10 days, then I just make sure to clean up poop as soon as I see it. As always I’m only a phone call away if u have any questions.
Coccicdiosis: Coccidia are small protozoans (one-celled organisms) that live in the intestinal tracts of dogs and cats. They cause disease most commonly in puppies and kittens less than six months of age, in adult animals whose immune system is suppressed, or in animals who are stressed in other ways (e.g.; change in ownership, other disease present). This is actually very easily and inexpensively treated and is one of the least worrisome of any parasite. Puppies that have this may have loose stools but rarely does it cause a pup to vomit or act sick. If pup has problems it is generally from loose stools causing dehydration and only in severe cases. Any puppy with this should be treated with Albon for at least two weeks and food and water intake should be watched to make sure pup is eating and drinking enough.
In dogs and cats, most coccidia are of the genus called Isospora. Isospora canis and I. ohioensis are the species most often encountered in dogs. Regardless of which species is present, we generally refer to the disease as coccidiosis. As a puppy ages, he tends to develop a natural immunity to the effects of coccidia. As an adult, he may carry coccidia in his intestines, and shed the cyst in the feces, but experience no ill effects. Most dogs in the US carry Cocci in them from time to time and it is not noticed and has no ill effects for most adult dogs. Puppies can get it from their mothers soon after birth or from contaminated soil outside.
It should be mentioned that stress plays a role in the development of coccidiosis. It is not uncommon for a seemingly healthy puppy to arrive at his new home and develop diarrhea several days later leading to a diagnosis of coccidia. Most our puppies leave with a week of Albon to guard against a cocci outbreak, but if the puppy does have cocci he will need Albon for two weeks to completely get rid of all the cocci, all fecal needs to be cleaned up so pup does not reinfect himself again.
FLEAS, MITES, TICKS: A pet will get a flea or tick every now and then, even if you give the recommended once a month flea treatment. A flea or tick can hitch a ride on your pet at any time. If you see a tick you can just get a grip on the whole tick and pull it out of the animal in one fluid motion making sure the head is not left in the pet. If the head gets left in you will need to get tweezers and go in and get it because it could cause an infection. If you mow your yard and keep the weeds down it helps a lot with ticks in the yard. At moist times of the year ticks are more prevalent. Fleas are in the grass outside and may hitch a ride on your pet, again even if your pet has a flea preventive on him. If you see fleas on your pet you should ask your vet about using a flea shampoo or topical treatment on your pet. Don’t use a flea shampoo and a flea topical on same day, that could overdose your puppy. Always consult your vet first! They have powders and sprays at the store if you have fleas in your home. It’s best to make sure they are animal friendly before using them in your home and ask vet before using along with other flea treatments. Mites also can come from the grass or other animals and a dog can get mites living in his ears even if on a monthly flea preventive. If your puppy has ear mites you can either get ear drops to kill the mites from your vet or your nearest pet store.
YEAST IN EARS: Yeast in the ear is not a parasite but does happen on occasion with all dogs because the ear is a moist warm place wear yeast likes to grow. It can grow very quickly. If you see black stuff in the ear this is usually yeast. I clean the ear out very well and pluck out the hair to help prevent it in the future. I then swab in a yeast cream such as over the counter monistat you can get at any pharmacy. Yeast medicine from the vet should cost less than $20 and if it’s more go with the monistat. Don’t allow your vet to talk u into expensive meds or procedures for your puppy. I have heard of one New York vet charging a dog owner $300 to just clean out the ears of a dog that had yeast. This is robbery. This is why I tell everyone that buys our puppies to call me if you are ever at the vet’s office and they are talking about expensive procedures and meds. Chances are I can save you tons of money with telling you how to do it yourself or explaining inexpensive fixes.
Ear Infections: Same as yeast it will happen occasionally because the ear is moist and warm. Clean out the ear yourself, pluck any hairs, call me if you need to know how to clean out the ear, and put the puppy on an oral antibiotic from your vet. A broad spectrum antibiotic for an ear infection should be around $30 or less. If it costs more your vet is using an expensive med when there are tons of cheaper versions that will work just fine. Ask for a cheaper version if you feel the one prescribed is too expensive. No other med is needed for an ear infection. Drops for pain are not needed and will just add to the moisture you are trying to get rid of in the ear. By keeping ears clean and dried out after bath or a swim you will prevent future ear infections.