Posts Tagged ‘worms in people’

     Are you expecting to get a new puppy for the holidays?  Next to properly socializing your pup with other dogs and people, the most important thing you’ll do for your pet is housetraining it.

Before you get started, consider the following:

  • Eight is the magic number:  puppies should begin housetraining at 8 weeks of age.
  • Most puppies are unable to control elimination before they’re 8 weeks old.  Their brains need time to develop the proper wiring and muscular control necessary to make housetraining a success.
  • At 8.5 weeks, puppies can mentally connect the potty location with the act of urinating or defecating, so this is the time to choose a location, be it lawn or pavement.
  • Since puppies develop a preference for their potty spot, teaching it first to go on newspaper may make it more difficult to get the puppy to go potty outdoors later.
  • Choose a location in the yard that will not be used for gardening, composting, or playing.  This is especially important if the pup is still carrying worms or if its status has not been checked. 
  • You’ll need to clean up fecal matter immediately after the pup goes, to protect your family from puppy worms.

 Remember…   

     Housetraining a pet takes time; accidents will happen.  Patience and persistence are key elements of training.

     Don’t punish!  Punishing a puppy that has an accident in the house will cause it to associate punishment with the act of elimination.  This means it will be fearful to “do its business” whether indoors or out.  Skip the punishment and instead focus on positive reinforcement.

     Leaks happen, especially when the pup has been “holding it” for a long time.  Don’t punish for leaks, since the pup has no control over this.  Pick the pup up and calmly bring it to its potty spot.  Remember to praise it afterwards for a job well-done.

And did you know…

     Puppies produce a lot of urine in a short amount of time, and they have small bladders – so they can’t hold urine for very long.  A Yorkie’s bladder may be the size of a large grape!  At this young age, pups should be taken out every one or two hours to eliminate.

      Sniffing is part of the process, so let your pup sniff and explore its environment.

Coming up next:  Housetraining Your Puppy – Part 2
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Resource:  “Canine Housetraining,” by Karen Overall MA, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVB, CAAB, in DVM Newsmagazine, November 2011 edition.

 

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     If you’ve been following along lately, you know I have worms on the brain.  No, not literally, but we’ve seen several wormy dogs lately and that has provided me the opportunity to share with you photos of intestinal worm eggs as seen through our microscope.  First, I shared pictures of the elusive Tapeworm egg, then I followed up with a post on Hookworm eggs.

     I’d hate for the Roundworm bunch to feel left out, and today they don’t have to.  Our microscopic exam of a puppy’s stool sample yielded bunches of Hookworms and a few Roundworms.  I was surprised at how few Rounds we were seeing, especially since the owner had a camera-phone pic of an adult worm that the puppy had passed the night before.  Still, I was able to capture one of the little fellas on “film.”

Roundworm egg outnumbered by Hookworm eggs. Photo by Jennifer Miele

     And a close-up of our subject:

Single Roundworm egg with two Hookworm egg buddies. Photo by Jennifer Miele

     As I mentioned in previous posts on the topic, we do find it significant that both untreated adult dogs and puppies are showing intestinal worm infestation during the winter months.  This means it is not safe to let one’s guard down and discontinue heartworm/intestinal worm preventative medications in the cold-weather.  Visit the Tapeworm post and scroll down to learn about the types of heartworm/intestinal worm preventatives we carry.

     Like Hookworms, Roundworms are zoonotic, meaning they prefer animal hosts but will infect humans when possible.  Children are most likely to become infected because they may play in dirt and sandboxes where animals have relieved themselves.  During play, a child may stick his fingers in his mouth and ingest the worm eggs. 

     Take steps to protect your family: 

  • Sandboxes should be kept covered when not in use so that cats and other animals do not use them as a toilet. 
  • Dogs should be trained to defecate in one area of the yard, which is then off-limits for play by both animals and people and off-limits for gardening. 
  • Children and adults should not walk barefoot through contaminated yards, and gardeners should wear gloves while working. 
  • Remove fecal waste from the yard as soon as it is deposited, and do not use it in compost. 
  • Wash well after handling your cat or dog and after working in the yard, especially before preparing meals. 
  • Clean your pet’s outdoor toys and dishes daily.

     Now, if we’re all very lucky, I will bring you future posts featuring photographs of Whipworm eggs and Coccidiae.  Fingers crossed!   ~~  Jen

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