Our Worming Regime for a Pregnant bitch and for a Litter
This is a topic I do get asked about a lot by those that need advice or use our stud dogs. We are very simple souls when it comes to worming. Domestic dogs, kept in clean, well maintained environments have a very low worm burden *usually*, and so this advice is orientated towards bitches regularly wormed throughout their normal day to day life with a known history of medical care. A bitch taken on as a rescue to whelp, or a bitch from an unknown background may need to be wormed with greater emphasis, and so please do seek and follow vet advice on this.
I worm our dogs once every 5 – 6 months. We, as I mentioned are simple souls and we do not use tick or flea treatments, not for any reason other than in nearly 25 years we have only the very occasional tick which is easily twisted off, AND we have only had fleas here on two occasions, both easily sorted out. So We PURELY and only worm our dogs. Therefore we use Drontal Plus. However, any vet or canine chemist bought wormer is fine. Just not the cheap, petshop bought ones sat on the counter or shelves. Petshops do sell *proper* wormers, however they will be behind the counter and you will need to be asked several questions before purchasing. We chose Drontal Plus based on the fact it covers all we feel we need, and it is a ONE DOSE tablet. Panacur is a popular vet prescribed wormer, but we feel the hassle of dosing over three days is unnecessary for our dogs and ESPECIALLY for a litter of puppies. So we tend, when a bitch we are going to mate, comes into the season that she is going to be mated on, we worm her with Drontal Plus in the first couple of days of being in season. *IF* she has been wormed in the previous, say 2 – 3 months, then we leave it. She is covered.
We will then not touch her with any unnecessary chemicals till after the puppies are weaned. We do not worm during pregnancy. I see no need and have never had a single need demonstrated to me. Vet advice is often to Panacur worm in the middle to late stages of pregnancy. I never know why they advise this as a *general thing*, its an unnecessary hassle. However, I see no actual *harm* in it… and *if* your bitch has not been wormed for a long time before mating (or is one of the unknown cases such as a recent ‘rescue’) then it might be wise. However we don’t do it and never have.
We worm our puppies at 3, 5 and 7 weeks of age. The reason for these timings is thus. Using this schedule the NEXT wormer is due at 9 weeks, rather than more commonly, when breeders use a 2, 4, 6 pattern at 8 weeks. The reason we avoid the next wormer being due at 8 weeks is because 99% of well bred puppies are collected at 8 weeks of age, and within a day or two go and have their first vaccination. It is our experience puppies do not need two lots of chemicals going in their little bodies close together in time. So we set up to worm at 3, 5 and 7 weeks so the next is due at 9 weeks so that the puppy can have this pattern: Week 8 – First Vaccination. Week 9 – Wormer. Week 10 – Second vaccination (usually). Week 11 – Wormer. …just to put a bit of time between chemical doses. it does their little systems the world of good rather than hammer, hammer, hammer… in the same day or two in a week. At 3 weeks old we worm with Drontal Puppy Suspension. A liquid wormer that needs administering with a syringe straight into the puppies mouth. They, naturally do not particularly like this, and it needs doing slowly. This is the reason we use Drontal…. again, like the adult version you do only one administer. Panacur, so often recommended, needs doing three days in a row….. something I would strongly recommend avoiding, just for the sake of your sanity and puppies, when there IS a single dose out there, use it 🙂 At 5 and 7 weeks of age, we switch to using normal adult Drontal plus tablets. These get broken up and slotted into little meatballs of raw beef or chicken mince and they ZOOM down them with them not even noticing the tablet was inside. I don’t particularly FEED raw mince to my puppies except in the very early first few days of weaning to teach them to chew. I just by a block in when I need it to administer these wormers 😉
Leaving the Litter:
We advise our buyers to worm their puppies at 9, 11 and 13 weeks… on Drontal or similar. Then monthly until 6 months old. Then 3 – 6 monthly, whatever is their preference from then onwards for the duration of the dogs life. I fully understand others may do this differently, but it has worked for us both having and advising on many, many litters over the years and I hope that it is helpful. 🙂 Diana Stevens – Wylanbriar – Feb 2015