Sheltie puppies are prone to worms, which is why it is imperative that they are provided with the proper inoculations and preventative medicines to deter the occurrence of these annoying and harmful parasites. Although the more common worms tend to only wreak havoc on shetland sheepdog puppies digestive systems, there are more dangerous varieties that can invade other organs of the body, including the heart. This can lead to serious illness and even death.
Due to the fact that there are many different types of worms that sheltie puppies can get, the following is a brief breakdown of 5 kinds, what to watch for and what you can do.
Roundworms – This is the most common and many dogs can be born with them; if the mother is infected she can pass them in-utero. Many canines often become contaminated with them when they ingest the worm eggs or larvae found in the stools of other infected animals. Note: reputable breeders will have their shetland sheepdog puppies de-wormed prior to giving them to their new human families.
Roundworms can be passed to humans, especially children who have a tendency to play on the ground and often stick their hands in their mouths. This worm can be treated with antibiotics and a veterinarian can make a diagnosis with a fecal exam.
Tapeworms – This one is usually spread by fleas and you will be able to see an actual tapeworm or segments of one in the feces of sheltie puppies. These segments resemble small white grains of rice. A stool sample is enough evidence and this problem can be eradicated with medication. Your vet may also suggest a monthly flea/tick preventative drug to avoid infestation recurrences.
Hookworms – Shetland sheepdog puppies can become a victim to this unwanted invader by stepping in feces or the wrong dirt. The hookworm particularly thrives in warm, moist soil and is extremely tiny. When it finds its host, it penetrates through the skin and makes its way to the intestines to breed. Just like the others, examining the feces and medication is required to treat the issue. Note: humans can also get hook-worms so be careful around your puppy when you know or suspect he is infected.
Whipworms – A pooch can become infected by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated with the eggs of the parasite. The whipworm lives within the intestine of the shelti and it will lay eggs that are passed in the stool. An examination of the dog’s waste will determine the infestation and they can be treated with meds to eradicate the problem.
Heartworm – These are transmitted via mosquitoes and are by far the most deadly to sheltie puppies. As the name indicates, these terrible wigglers reside in a pup’s heart and can lead to serious health issues. If it is not treated there is a good chance the animal will die.
Though, treatment for this sickness is available, it is a lengthy and difficult process that is not always successful. Therefore, it is best to prevent this dog-worm from ever contaminating shetland sheepdog puppies by providing them with a preventative medication recommended by your vet.
Finally, remember that to keep sheltie puppies safe from many parasitic infections it is best that they have an annual fecal examination as part of their regular physical checkup.