Today I will discuss roundworms and hookworms. Do not worry if your German Shepherd Dog puppy or adult does not have these parasites, they will.
Hookworms live as larvae in the ground and once a yard or property has been infested with hookworms, you may never be rid of them. When your German Shepherd Dog comes into contact with the larvae, the larvae burrow into the dog’s skin usually through the paws and infect your dog. Serious infestations can result in anemia and death. There is a small to no human risk with hookworms from your dog.
Roundworms survive in the soil as eggs until ingested. Like hookworms once your yard has been infested, you may never be rid of roundworms. Your German Shepherd Dog can become infected with roundworms from several different vectors. Unborn puppies are infected when larvae travel from the mother through the uterus to the puppies. Almost all puppies are infected in this manner before birth because the roundworm can live encysted larvae in the mothers muscle tissue where it cannot be treated. Once the mother starts releasing hormones due to her pregnancy, the encysted larvae become active roundworms and are transmitted to the puppies in utero. Once born, the German Shepherd Dog puppies can be infected from the mothers milk and likewise the puppies reinfect the mother as she cleans up after them. German Shepherd Dog puppies and adults can become infected by ingesting eggs in the soil when their sticks or toys are soiled by infected soil. In addition, your German Shepherd dog can become infected by ingesting an infected animal such as a rodent or rabbit. There is a moderate human health risk for roundworms, but with proper hygiene and washing your hands before eating the risk is miniscule.
Now that it is clear that at some point your German Shepherd Dog may become infected with these parasites it is good idea to worm your German Shepherd dog on a regular basis to ensure their health, as well as, your family’s health. Parents of small children should oversee the use of proper hygiene and wash their hands after handling puppies.
We at keystone German Shepherds use nonprescription but prescription strength Pyrantel Pamoate at a dosing rate of 1cc per every ten pounds. We worm our German Shepherd Dogs at a minimum of every 5 months. We worm our German Shepherd Dog puppies and moms every ten days until their first shot. After their first shot, we worm them every three weeks. By the time our German Shepherd Dog puppies receive their first shots, they have been weaned and the vicious cycle of reinfecting from mom to puppy has been broken. Therefore, it is not longer appropriate to worm the puppies as often.
Worming your German Shepherd Dog puppy or adult is a way to take control of your dogs care and to ensure a happy healthy companion that will be around for years to come.
As always consult your veterinarian before using any medicines on your German Shepherd Dog.
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