Worms are a serious threat to the health of your dog. The dog can be infected with dangerous parasites even before it is born. This is why your help is essential. From an early age – for the entire life of the dog. This is no problem nowadays with early and regular worm cures. We will tell you how to do it right.
We have put together all of the important information and documents on the subject of worming for you on the following pages. From sensible use of medication to special treatment of puppies and pregnant bitches to targeted worming of individual risk groups.
Many dog owners are still unsure how to worm their dog in a responsible and sensible way. The exact length of time for which the protective effect of a worm cure lasts is explained to you by Professor Dr. Thomas Schnieder, head of the Institute for Parasitology at the Veterinary University of Hanover and the chairman of the independent expert organisation ESCCAP:
"Worm treatment lasts for about 24 hours. During this time, the worms and their development stages in the intestine of the dog are killed. The dog than no longer has worms and also no longer passes infecting worm eggs. It is therefore worm-free – but can become infected again at any time by ingesting new worm eggs. In this case it takes several weeks again before new worms develop in the intestine of the dog and infecting eggs are being passed again. With roundworm it takes about 4 weeks, with tapeworm it usually takes longer, and with the more infrequently occurring hookworm it also takes less than 4 weeks. If you would like to guarantee that an animal is worm-free and rule out the passing of infecting eggs, it must be de-wormed every 4 weeks. However, this is only recommended in special cases, e.g. with an extremely high risk of infection and close contact with small children or persons who are ill. With a normal risk of infection, worming or faeces investigation at quarterly intervals is sufficient. The passing of infecting eggs is therefore kept down and worm infection is stopped before it damages the animal. More information about parasite protection in dogs can be found on ESCCAP Web site at www.esccap.de".
The majority of dogs are infected from birth. Because some roundworms are transferred to the puppies in the womb. Their larvae encapsulate themselves in the musculature of the adult mother and travel into the womb under hormonal influence, where they infect the unborn puppies. Roundworms can also be transferred to the puppies after birth in the mother's milk. Sometimes with fatal consequences.
According to the recommendation of the ESCCAP, puppies should be wormed for the first time at the age of two weeks. Treatment should then be repeated every two weeks until two weeks after the puppy's final ingestion of its mother's milk.
No approved preparations are available in Germany for treating pregnant bitches for worm infection in the womb. However, since it has been proved that the puppies are protected when using certain worm cures, you should consult your vet.
The worm cures, which are often vilified as "bad chemistry", have an invaluable advantage for the health of the animals. Its active ingredients mainly attack structures that only occur in worms and not in the organisms of other animals or people. Before they can be put onto the market, every worm cure must be tested for effectiveness, after-effects, safety and tolerance for many years by various authorities. Furthermore, for use with pregnant and lactating bitches and puppies, a comprehensive amount of scientific data concerning harmlessness must be available.
These are usually only a temporary stomach upset. On the other hand, if a worm cure is not used, the health of the bitch and her puppies is at significant risk. The ESCCAP strictly advises against the use of so-called "natural remedies" as protection from worm infections. Unlike officially approved animal medication, there is no conclusive evidence of the effect, the safety or the compatibility thereof.
A faeces examination is unsuitable for protecting puppies from infection with roundworm. With adult dogs, on the other hand, faeces investigations can be carried our instead of worming. The animal is only treated with a worm cure if there are indications of worm infestation. However, this method is only appropriate if at least 4 grams of faeces are collected on three successive days and examined at the vet's practice. It is also important that the faeces examinations are carried out at regular intervals, i.e. exactly as often as the recommended de-worming.
There is a more or less long period between the infection and removal of worm eggs. Because no eggs can be found in the faeces during the development of the worms, although the animal is already infected. It can therefore not be ruled out that worm eggs will be excreted on the following day in spite of a normal faeces examination. More information and practical tips about proper parasite protection in dogs can be found on the Internet at www.esccap.de.