Breeder's Notebook: Handle with Care
Use caution when treating pregnant bitches and newborn puppies for parasites.
D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D.
Puppies and parasites – the two often go hand in hand. Puppies can pick up internal parasites from their dam before birth. They can pick up both internal and external parasites after birth.
Even the best puppies from the best breeders and the cleanest environments can, and most likely will, have worms. Although most breeders do their best to make sure their bitch is parasite-free before they breed her, she can still pick up additional parasites while pregnant or lactating. Also, some intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, that have become inactive in her system are activated by her pregnancy. These parasites can penetrate the placenta and infect her puppies as the puppies pass through the birth canal, or the parasites can be transmitted through the dam’s milk after birth.
Because of this, even bitches that were dewormed before mating should be dewormed two to three weeks prior to giving birth. Safe deworming ingredients include fenbendazole, piperazine or pyrantel.
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