Intestinal Parasites and Breeders
Updated: Nov 11, 2022
For Breeders Worldwide ,Intestinal Parasites are a NIGTHMARE. As Responsible Breeders we are aware that puppies are routinely dewormed, treated, checked before delivering them to new owners, and then ,a couple of days later you get a call from one of your puppy owners saying their Vet had found Parasites in their puppies! We see ourselves scratching our heads and just wondering, What are we supposed to do, we have followed the Full Veterinarian protocol on deworming, we started deworming at two weeks, we started Worming to the Pregnant mother and dewormed her as she is lactating, we dewormed at 2, 4, 6, 8 weeks for 3 to 5 days in a row, we treat for Coccidia, for Giardia and they come negative in the Health Certificate stool sample day!! So we know we are delivering a healthy pup!!! My Vet is very meticulous at this , as are so many other Veterinarians that breeders use. As breeders of GSDs or different breeds,when we start to share our experiences we find the same common situation, Puppies were taken to a new home and they come out with Positive Parasite contamination??? How does this happen??
For over 12 years I worked with a Veterinarian who taught me that this is definitely a common situation and that owners should be disclosed in the Puppy Sale Contract that this can happen and that this is not a reason to come against the breeder if the puppy has been properly dewormed and the health Certificate Stool sample comes out clean and cleared!
There are many factors why this can happen, first and most common is Stress, many puppies that undergo Stress in the home changing environment release the ova from the intestines that were not released at the moment the Health Certificate was done! There are some types of parasites that do not show up on the day of the Stool sample is taken for the Health Certificate!
Many Breeders can keep their puppies locked up in a secluded area where they do not get in contact with the contamination that is grass, dirt, dirty water puddles, and environment that can be contaminated, but then what happens with these puppies temperament?
What about the Sensory work, the noise and sounds exposure, the incredible benefits from running around the areas and meeting all sorts of different stimulants that help strengthen their temperament and self confidence, meeting other dogs in the area, hearing them bark, listening to lawn mowers, water hoses, obstacle courses and learning the basics of food luring in different areas in the farm? Are we going to sacrifice these exposures and experiences that will be the building block of an Incredible strong resilient temperament, the puppy that learns how to solve puzzles in their lives? Yes, I can sacrifice all of this? When we come to face these realities we need to weigh the results, either I have a complete no parasite puppy with no exposure, or temperament problems and flakiness which is an emotional situation that can be taking months to solve and modify for the new owner, or I may run the risk of facing the parasite contamination that is ALWAYS present in the ground and with just a simple treatment can be taken care off?
For me, the answer is easy and logical. I want my puppy to be Strong, Self Confident, Resilent , Sweet and Loving, and that has a great bond with humans, Parasites if present can be solved, is the least of problems.
Many Veterinarians KNOW THIS VERY WELL, and they know this is a very common situation on puppies, but for some reason, some may take advantage to create Panic in the New Puppy Owners who do not have previous experiences with the raising of puppies and all that is naturally involved in this "adventure".
Responsible breeders will definitely disclose this and explain to new puppy owners these possibilities and that is why many Breeders send home puppies with preventive dewormers in case this situation occurs. And also are always in contact to answer any questions and help in advises that the new puppy owners may need. We never turn our back on our puppy owners, we always try to help and support in all the possibilities that we can.
Now a bit on Information on The Nightmare- Parasites!!
What Are Intestinal Parasites?
Intestinal parasites do not affect only certain breeds, all dogs are susceptible. Hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, giardia, and coccidia are some of the more prevalent intestinal parasites that dogs can get.
It is common for your dog to become infected with an intestinal parasite at some point. There are numerous intestinal parasites that can afflict your dog, which is why regular fecal exams by your veterinarian will hopefully catch any infestation before it becomes serious or even life-threatening.
Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites in Dogs
Most intestinal parasites do not show symptoms until the infestation has become severe. This is why preventative care and regular fecal exams are important to catch the infestation in its early stages. If you notice any of these symptoms, collect a stool sample from your dog and have your veterinarian check for any parasites. Remember, sometimes it does take a Stool complete Culture to find out different parasites like Giardia, coccidia.
Hookworms will attach to the wall of the stomach and puncture blood vessels to feed on the blood. We treat with PANACUR for 5 days in a row every 2 weeks interval.
• Poor growth in puppies
• Dark, tarry stools
Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasites in dogs. Almost all dogs will have an infestation of roundworms at some point in their lifetime. Roundworms can be transmitted to humans. Panacur and Pyrantel are the medication used for these!
• Diarrhea with mucus
• Poor growth in puppies
• Distended or swollen abdomen
• Worms visible in feces
• Vomiting worms
• Coat is lackluster
Tapeworms are flat, segmented worms that are found within the intestine. The segments of a tapeworm can become independent worms. Tapeworms can be transmitted to humans. Droncit, Praziquantel is the Medication used to treat these.
• Failure to digest food or absorb nutrients
• Variable appetite
• Shaggy coat
• Worms or segments visible in the feces
Giardia is a one-celled parasitic organism that takes up residence in the small intestine. It is not a worm, bacteria, or virus. Giardia may need a "Snap Test" or Stool Culture, to be identified, the Giardia is treated with "Flagyl"- Metrodinazole for 10 days twice a day.
• Poor condition
• Weight loss
Coccidia is a one-celled organism that causes an intestinal tract infection. The most common type of coccidia found in dogs cannot be easily transmitted to humans. Other less common types can be transmitted to humans. For Coccidia, we treat with Toltrazuril or Baycox and also there is the old-timer antibiotic ALBON based on Sulfa.
• Bloody diarrhea
• Weight loss
Causes of Intestinal Parasites in Dogs
Causes of intestinal parasites in dogs will vary depending on the type of parasite that has been identified. Your veterinarian can help you identify the source of the intestinal parasite once it has been classified.
• Eating infective larvae
• Transmission during nursing
• Direct skin penetration
• Passed from mother to puppies in utero
• Transmission during nursing
• Ingestion of larvae
• Through contact with infected feces
• Eating infected prey animals
• Dirty, Ponds, rain pools, drinking water
• Eating feces
• Swallowing contaminated soil
• Eating contaminated feces
Diagnosis of Intestinal Parasites in Dogs
Your veterinarian can diagnose most intestinal parasites by examining a stool sample under a microscope. The number of eggs or larvae present in the stool sample will give your veterinarian an idea of how severe the infestation is. The actual parasite will also be identified.
Once your veterinarian has determined that your dog has an intestinal parasite infection, a treatment plan will follow.
Treatment of Intestinal Parasites in Dogs
Treatment will vary depending on the severity of the infestation and the type of parasite. Always follow the prescribed treatment plan exactly and take proper precautions to keep from becoming infected with the intestinal parasite.
Prescription oral medications will be used to eliminate adult hookworms. The treatment plan must be repeated several times to ensure that all hookworms have been expelled. A fecal exam during each follow-up visit will help your veterinarian in determining how effective each treatment has been.
Be sure to remove all feces from your yard immediately following your dog’s defecation to keep soil contamination to a minimum. Place feces into a plastic bag, seal, and throw in the trash.
Most puppies will have been put on a schedule of anti-parasitic medications that remove roundworm infestations by their breeder. Once your dog is old enough for heartworm preventatives, ask your veterinarian about a medication that also controls intestinal roundworm infections.
Remove all feces from your yard daily. Use gloves and put feces in a plastic bag to keep contamination to a minimum.
Anti-parasitic medications will be given either orally or by injection. These medications cause the tapeworm to dissolve in the intestines so a follow-up fecal exam will be necessary to determine if the infestation has been resolved.
Metronidazole, which is an antibiotic, will be given for generally five to seven days. Fenbendazole (Panacur) may also be used with metronidazole. Follow-up fecal tests and treatments may be required depending upon the severity of the infection. If your dog is severely dehydrated, IV support may be required as well as other medications given by injection.
Wash your dog’s water bowl daily and give fresh water several times a day. Wash any bedding that your dog has come into contact.
Anti-parasitic medication as well as an oral antibiotic may be prescribed. Albon is a common treatment for coccidia. as well as Totrazuril which is only dosage as a 2 day treatment
Your veterinarian will perform a follow-up fecal exam. Additional medications may be required. Be sure to treat all dogs in the home, not just the ones presenting symptoms of coccidia.
If your dog is severely dehydrated, IV support may be required. Anti-diarrhea medication may also be administered if your dog is suffering from severe diarrhea. Remove all feces from your yard daily. Use gloves and put feces in a plastic bag to keep contamination to a minimum
We have created this Article to help, inform and educate all puppy owners, All Professional Breeders strive for the Best information and education of their puppy families. It's extremely important to have well-educated and informed puppy families, it's a joint effort to make the very Best of our Puppy's lives and Breeder- Owner relationship! Happy Puppyhood time!!!