BlueMyst Australian Shepherds

Dave and Laura Fuller





Bringing Your New Puppy Home

What Now? Worming

Updated on 4-14-10

A more natural approach to managing worms and other parasites is to add Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth to your puppy's food. It will eliminate most parasites on a daily basis, naturally.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) can be given to sick pets, and/or those with worm infestations. It can be added to their regular food/diet. It will keep your puppy's parasites in check. Food Grade DE helps to strengthen a sick animal's immune system, detox heavy metals, provide 15 minerals, and eliminates any worms they may have.

This web site sells Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth and other natural products.

Food Grade DE Feeding Protocol

Note: Food Grade DE is safe, even if you give a little more than the recommended dose.

Manufacturer recommended feeding guideline:

Puppies - 1 teaspoon/day

Dogs - 20 to 50 lbs - 2 teaspoons/day

Dogs - 50 to 100 lbs - 1 tablespoon/day

Dogs - 100+ lbs - 2 tablespoons/day

Do NOT get Food Grade DE into your eyes. It is a drying agent and will dry out the eyes. If you have asthma or lung ailment, wear a mask or be very careful when using food grade DE. It is very light in the air and can be easily inhaled, if you not careful. It looks like flour, and is called fossil shell flour.

Parasites are a fact of life. Our pets will be hosts to a number of parasites and other organisms for their entire lives. This is quite normal. Given a healthy gut and immune system, the animal body is designed to keep these parasites in check naturally.

Here are some of the most common worms/parasites:

Hookworms are caused by several species of parasites. Hookworms are parasites that get their name from the hook-like mouthparts they use to attach to the intestinal wall. They are only about 1/8" (3 mm) long and so small that it is very difficult to see them with the naked eye. Despite their small size, they ingest large amounts of blood from the tiny vessels in the intestinal wall. This problem is most common in puppies, but can also occur in adult dogs (and people).

Hookworm symptoms depend on how the infection is acquired. Early stages of animal hookworms, the larvae, can infect the host and travel through different parts of the body. This is called larva migrans (LAR-va MIGH-granz). Painful and itchy skin infections often occur when animal hookworm larvae move through the skin. If animal hookworm eggs are ingested, then the larvae that hatch out of the eggs can reach the intestine and cause bleeding, inflammation (swelling), and abdominal pain.                                                                                                                                                       

Ringworm is a condition that occurs when an animal becomes infected with a type of fungi known as dermatophytes. The fungi most often spreads through contact with an infected animal’s skin, fur, or claws, but it may also spread through grooming tools, bedding, or furniture which has come into contact with the fungi. One of the signs of ringworm in dogs is unexplained hair loss on a specific area of the body. The hair loss can sometimes take a circular pattern, or it can begin small and spread. Scaly patches of skin may develop, and the hair may break off easily.

Roundworms are the most common of the parasitic worms found inside a dog. Almost all dogs become infected with them at some time in their lives, usually as puppies. There are several types of roundworm. Your dog may be infected with roundworms from the time it is born, because often the mother passes the worms to the puppy while it is still in her body.

Roundworms can also develop in a puppy after it is born, when the puppy eats larvated eggs from the environment, or drinks worm larvae (young worms) in the mother's milk. Dogs of all ages can pick up roundworms from the soil. Severe roundworm infestation is usually accompanied by symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, stunted growth, rough coat and a bloated belly. Many dogs do not have any symptoms.

Tapeworms are a type of parasite, also known as a cestode, which lives in the intestines of infected mammals. Cats and dogs may become infected with tapeworms, if they eat animal meat that is contaminated with the worms, but in most cases they become infected with tapeworms by ingesting fleas that are carrying tapeworm eggs. Tapeworms are long and flat, and resemble a piece of tape.

Whipworms, also known as Trichuris vulpis and Trichuris campanula, are intestinal parasites which latch onto a dog’s intestines and feed off of the nutrients in the blood passing through the intestines. These worms are called whipworms because of their shape. They are one of the more common intestinal canine parasites. Whipworms can be difficult to find during a routine fecal exam.

Heart worms are caused by a parasite, Dirofilaria immitis, which lives in the arteries of the lungs, and in the right side of the heart. Heart worm disease occurs primarily in dogs, but can occur in cats as well as other animals on rare occasions. Most dogs do not show any symptoms.

Heart worms are transmitted by mosquitoes. The heart worm itself must go through stages of development, and once established in an animal, they can live up to seven years.

Ivermectin WARNING, Australian Shepherds and the herding breeds can have drug sensitivities that commonly cause toxicity from Ivermectin, an ingredient found in heart worm medications. It is always advisable to consult with your veterinarian before giving your Aussie any medications. Over-the-counter medications can also be toxic. 

Note: The drug companies have the nerve to blame the genetic make-up of a dog for not tolerating the poisons in their products. If the products are so safe, then why are thousands of pets having complications, and dying from it every year. These drug companies stand to make huge profits by pushing these drugs on pet owners.

The drug companies do the testing and make claims that are unfounded by anyone else. It's like having a fox watch the hen house. There is no mandatory reporting for pets displaying side effects, illnesses, or death caused by these products, so the poisoning of our pets continue.

Heart worm medications do not prevent the heart worms. They are poisons that kill heart worm larvae (called microfilariae) contracted during the previous 30-45 days (and maybe longer due to what is called the Reach Back Effect).

It is not the heart worms that cause a disease, other factors and health conditions causing a dog to become less healthy, cause the health issues. Only a dog whose health is compromised, is unable to tolerate a few worms. Furthermore, a truly healthy dog would not be susceptible to any type of worm in the first place.

There are basically three choices with regard to heart worm prevention: drugs, nosodes, or nothing, depending on your environment. We don't need it here in our area, so we don't use it.

You can also try a natural product called Heartworm Free.

Coccidia and Giardia and a natural treatment remedy called Kocci Free.

Coccidia are small protozoans (one-celled organisms) that multiply in the intestinal tracts of dogs and cats, most commonly in puppies and kittens less than six months of age, in adult animals whose immune system is suppressed, or in animals who are stressed in other ways (e.g.; change in ownership, other disease present).

The primary sign of coccidiosis is diarrhea. The diarrhea may be mild to severe depending on the level of infection. Blood and mucous may be present, especially in advanced cases. Most of the infected puppies are in the four to twelve week age group. The possibility of coccidiosis should always be considered when a loose stool or diarrhea is encountered in this age group. A microscopic fecal exam by a veterinarian will detect the cysts confirming a diagnosis.

Giardia are protozoans, tiny one-celled parasitic life forms with the potential to cause illness. Some dogs are carriers, and show no symptoms, but others get sick and need treatment. Since diarrhea is a common symptom of intestinal infection, causes such as Salmonella and Campylobacter are generally ruled out before testing for Giardia is done. Direct microscopic inspection of feces is necessary to determine the presence of the protozoan. The symptoms of Giardia are typical of several diseases, but if your pup has had contact with dirty (or potentially contaminated) water, or with dogs showing similar signs, Giardiasis should at least be suspected.

If you go to our "Links" page, you will find web sites with additional information on pet health and care.