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Away with Worms

All dogs get worms at some time in their life. Puppies are usually born with roundworms and it is vital that they are wormed frequently as young pups otherwise they may fail to thrive and possibly even die as a consequence. It is so important to worm puppies that it is probably best to follow your vet's advice. If you decide to buy a puppy worm preparation from a pet shop then I personally would recommend the 'old-fashioned' wormers that contain piperazine. The newer, more up to date wormers contain a much more powerful cocktail of worming products but I have always found that piperazine works perfectly well on roundworms and most importantly, seems to be safe for puppies. A homoeopathic alternative is to use Chenopodium and Cina 3x twice daily for a week. Stop the treatment for a week and then repeat it. Continue this routine throughout puppyhood to keep your puppy free of roundworms.

Older dogs may pick up tapeworms at any time especially if they have had fleas. Current advice is to worm adult dogs every six months but I would prefer to know whether or not my dog actually has worms before I take steps to worm it. Your vet can easily detect worms in a stool sample so don't worm your dog unnecessarily. Use your poop bag to take a sample to your vet then it is your decision to use your vet’s recommendation or homoeopathic Felix Mas or Granatum twice daily for a few weeks.

The holistic practitioner believes that a healthy dog fed a natural diet is far less likely to get worms than one fed on commercially prepared food. Garlic should be given daily as a preventative along with fibre rich foods such as ground pumpkin seeds (about ½ teaspoon per 40 lbs dog) or grated coconut to help move any worms out of the intestines. Raw bones would have a similar effect because the chewed up bits of bone carry out any internal parasites on their way through the dog's digestive system along with raw grated carrots, swede or turnip.

What is meant by a 'natural diet'? Taken to its extreme it would mean feeding your dog a similar diet to his wild cousins, the wolf and the fox, but as that’s a bit hard for most of us, your dog's diet could be improved by moving from manufactured foods to a home made diet. If that is beyond you, the easiest way to improve the diet would be to add raw vegetables several times a week.

Dogs - This article has been reproduced courtesy of Frances Gavin

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