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Meet Audrey, the latest canine member of our happy family. I think she’s the cutest little Pug puppy ever. Of course I may be just a wee bit prejudiced.

Before we adopted her, my wife and I agreed that this little cutie would receive nothing but the best. We went online and ordered top quality puppy food and other dog supplies well in advance of the big day when we brought her to her new “forever home”. After about a week we started to be a little concerned about Audrey’s health. Although we were feeding her the highest quality puppy food, she seemed to be losing, rather than gaining weight. She also seemed to be struggling with diarrhea more often than not.

So, we took Audrey to her first appointment with our family veterinarian, Dr. Laurel Shaw. It didn’t take long for the good doctor to diagnose Audrey’s condition: gastrointestinal parasitic worms. Yuck! We were horrified at the diagnosis! However, Dr. Shaw explained to us that we needn’t be alarmed. Parasitic infection is one of the most common problems that young puppies face. Fortunately, it is also a condition that can be easily remedied with the treatment that she prescribed – Drontal Plus deworming tablets.

Although it’s a topic that we all would rather not think about, dog owners do need to know some simple facts about intestinal parasites. Puppies are often infected with parasites even while still in their mothers’ wombs. They can also accidentally ingest the parasites after they’ve been born. The most common symptoms are weight loss and diarrhea, as we had noted in Audrey’s case. If not treated early, puppies may also develop a pot belly, pale pink gums, and become easily tired. Parasites can take weeks or even months to develop from egg and larval stages into adults. Deworming medications usually only target worms in the adult or late immature stages. Since puppies can be exposed to these parasites numerous times, deworming medication must be administered at regular intervals.

Doctor Shaw explained that this approach is known as “strategic deworming”. Under this protocol, pups are dewormed at two week intervals beginning at two weeks, continuing through twelve weeks of age. In cases where the puppy is severely infected, treatment may continue on a monthly schedule until they are six months old. She also stressed that even if the puppy has received deworming treatment prior to adoption, one must not assume that the puppy is parasite free. The strategic deworming schedule should still be maintained, based on your pup’s age.

Well, we’re happy to report that our sweet Audrey is now growing like a weed. At 12 weeks she tested negative for parasites so we were able to discontinue treatment. Her body is finally catching up to her head size and her coordination is much improved. She’s simply a beautiful, bouncing, black bundle of unconditional love.

This is Binky, a Pug Mix waiting for a forever home at the East Valley Shelter in Van Nuys, California. His ID: #A1317465. He is in danger of euthanasia.

We hope that you will find room in your heart to adopt a homeless pet and, when you do, please be sure your new pet receives a thorough veterinary check-up, right away.

 This is an guest author entry by: Scott Cann

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