Owning a puppy can be a fun and exciting time. They are playful, energetic, full of curiosity and love. Unfortunately, sometimes they can be full of other not-so-nice things as well. Pretty-much the bane of every dog owner is worms.
Worms can be very detrimental to any dog’s health, especially small puppies which have immune systems that are not fully developed yet. Thankfully, there are several methods for deworming puppies, and with the assistance of your veterinarian, you can show the worms the door.
Do You Need a 2 Week Old Puppy Dewormer?
Most people wouldn’t instinctively think that a young pup would be susceptible to worms or parasites. However, this is when they are most vulnerable to infection. Their young age, combined with a still-developing immune system, makes small puppies a prime target for invaders.
There are several different types of worms that can infect a dog, such as roundworms, hookworms, and heartworms. One thing they all have in common, however, is their severity. All are dangerous to a dog and require professional treatment and medication. While some home remedies are rumored to help with worm infections (garlic and carrots are popular), it is not recommended to feed your dog human food.
You need to watch for certain signs and symptoms and promptly alert your vet if you see any of the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Persistent coughing (yes, dogs can cough)
- Swollen stomach
- White spots in their droppings (feces)
These are the most visible signs of worm infections, though there are others. As always, you should consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns. Your vet will be able to run specific tests to check for the presence of worms and then begin treatment. Because of the nature and severity of worm infections, it is recommended that all dogs be tested annually, as part of a yearly checkup.
Prepare for the Process
If the test for worms comes back positive for your precious pup, then treatment will begin. Generally speaking, the earlier you spot an infection, the better it will be for everyone, and the easier it will be to treat.
That being said, treatment is usually a long road, sometimes involving several pre-medication rounds before the actual medicine is administered. This can be difficult for you and even more difficult for a young pup, so it’s best to go into this with some idea of what to expect.
Put off That Playtime
During treatment, it is usually advised that the dog does not engage in much (if any) physical activity. Especially in the case of heartworms, anything that stresses the heart, such as exercise, running, or play, can exacerbate the infection, or even be fatal!
This can be a very difficult thing to accomplish for a 2-week-old puppy. This is usually when they are full of energy, want to play every second, and are ready to go exploring at the drop of a hat. Still, they must be kept calm and restful during this period, because dead worms can still block vital organs during this phase of treatment.
One way you can encourage your usually playful pal to keep calm is staying indoors as much as possible. While this may be disappointing for both of you, it’ll curb your pup’s curiosity and help them to remain docile.
For potty time, you may want to get indoor pads instead of outdoor walking. Again, this is all about reducing the number of distracting moments that may cause the pup to go running off. If outside walking is required, though, it is advisable to keep your puppy on a short leash, literally. In other words, don’t allow them to dart around while doing their business.
Consider a Cage (Or at Least a Puppy Crib)
People have mixed feelings about placing any dog in a cage. However, in this scenario, it may be a very useful tool for keeping your puppy safe and healthy. No one can keep a watch on their dog 24/7, and this is where the cage can come in handy. A cage will keep them from wandering around and injuring themselves during the treatment and healing process.
If a full cage is simply out of the question, that’s okay. A puppy crib can serve a similar purpose. Just be sure that the crib will actually prevent your pup from escaping. Puppies can be surprisingly innovative when they want to be!
Stick to the Schedule
During the treatment process, your veterinarian will give you oral medications to administer to your dog on a fixed schedule. It is very important that the schedule be strictly adhered to. Missing even one dosage may require a restart of the medication regiment, as blood-levels may be affected. Your vet will guide you in this scenario.
Prevention is Key
After the treatment cycle for your puppy is complete, the vet will run a test to see if the worms are still present. If they are, another cycle of treatments will begin. This will continue until tests show that the worms have been completely eradicated.
Once your dog is worm-free, a preventative medication will be prescribed, which the dog will need to take for the rest of their life. This not only protects your pup from future infection but you as well.
Several types of worms, such as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, can under certain conditions be transmitted from dog to human. Because of this, it is advised not to allow the dog to kiss (lick) a person’s face, and to wash hands thoroughly after petting.
People generally allow dogs to lick their hands, but be mindful not to touch your face or other surfaces until you have washed your hands. Use soap and proper scrubbing technique to wash away any parasites which may be present.
It should be obvious that children should be carefully supervised to avoid cross-contamination. In some cases, total isolation between the dog and children is necessary depending on the type of worm infection. Consult with your vet for specific guidelines.
Kill the Worms, Not Your Fun
Even though your puppy had worms, it doesn’t mean all your fun days are over. While some things need to change for health and safety reasons, there’s still plenty of life left to enjoy. Your 2-week-old puppy, properly dewormed, can enjoy playtime as much as before.
Proper hygiene and some extra rules need to be enforced, which is necessary to keep both of you safe and healthy. However, with treatment and time, you will soon be enjoying life playing in the yard once again.