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This page is the 5th page in this series on pitbull health. Click Here to go to the 1rst page.

Angelo from San Antonio, Texas asks Mr Pitbull:

My vet says I need to worm my puppies, but Sasha has never had worms, so why would I need to worm the puppies? it is hard for me to believe my puppies have worms.

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I hear you Angelo. Many people wonder how it is possible for their puppies to get worms. They may have a pitbull female that is a house dog that never goes outside or comes in contact with another dog. They did the breeding with an AI, so the female was never in contact with another dog, so how could the puppies have worms?

Here is a health issue most people don't know: Almost all dogs have worms!

This is what happens: Worms lie dormant in muscle tissue. Because of Hormonal changes during pregnancy, the worms become active and can infect the puppies before birth. Some worms can even be transmitted through the milk. Almost all puppies are going to have worms of one kind or another.


Puppies need to be dewormed every two weeks starting at four weeks of age. Some experts recommend starting to deworm puppies at two weeks and to deworm puppies at weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8, and then once a month until 6 months. Thereafter, the puppy should be dewormed at least every six months to maintain optimum health. If the puppy is taken to parks or other public places, then a puppy should be dewormed every other month as I do mine.

Remember that treatment for intestinal puppy worms will not kill heart worms or certain types of tape worms that can infect a puppy. You still have to treat your puppy for these worms too.

John from St Paul asks Mr PitBull:

Dear Dear Mr PitBull, I just got a new pitbull puppy and my vet says she has Hook worms. I got her when she was eight weeks old and have had her for a few months now. The vet says that my yard may be contaminated with Hook worm eggs and that I may have a hard time getting rid of the Hook worms. What should I do?


John, Your vet is right; HOOK WORMS are very difficult to get rid of. Some Years ago, I bought two AMERICAN PITBULL PUPPIES from a well known breeder. I noticed after a couple of days that both puppies had a cough. I took them to the Vet and the Vet said they had Kennel Cough and prescribed treatment.

A week later, they were still coughing, so I took them to another vet. A week later they were still coughing. This time I took them to another Vet who indicated that the puppies had Hook worms. By now, the puppies had contaminated my entire kennel with the worms.

Swift and diligent action was needed to protect the health of my other puppies and to rid the property of the hook worms. I go into much more detail on HOW TO GET RID OF HOOK WORMS in another article.

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There are three ways in which hook worms are spread to puppies. One way is by being infected by the worms while the puppies are in the womb. Secondly, hook worms lay thousands of eggs every day. Those worm eggs are passed in the puppies stools and contaminate the puppies environment. When a puppy licks its paws or something else with the worm eggs on it, the worm eggs are swallowed and the puppy becomes infected. The third way a puppy is infected is direct contact with a worm. The worm lies on the soil the puppy comes in contact with the hook worm and the worm penetrates the skin. Then the worm migrates under the skin to the lungs where the worm is coughed up by the puppy and then swallowed. This is what was going on with my two puppies.

Dear Dear Mr PitBull, I just got a new pitbull puppy and my vet says she has Hook worms. I got her when she was eight weeks old and have had her for a few months now. The vet says that my yard may be contaminated with Hook worm eggs and that I may have a hard time getting rid of the Hook worms. What should I do?


The first step in getting rid of the worms is; deworming all the puppies. But since the area is now going to have been contaminated with either worms or eggs, the entire area has to be treated for the worms to protect the health of all the puppies from repeat infection by the worms. I maintain a kennel area that I can spray everything with chlorine to kill the worms. Most people cannot spray their yards as the chlorine will kill the grass, therefore, it is very difficult to eradicate hook worms. Having done a lot of research and read a number of studies, I learned that the hook worm eggs are very hearty. Therefore it takes a lot of cleaning and diligence to eliminate these worms completely from an area.


I use Fenbendazole / Safeguard Wormer Suspension to kill puppy worms. I believe that this is the most cost effective and best multi-spieces dewormer. Certainly, there is no other wormer with a better track record for safety.

Although Fenbendazole comes conveniently prepackaged as either Panacure or Safe-Guard dewormer with individual doses for dogs, or puppies, most kennels buy Fenbendazole for livestock dewormer as it is much cheaper. For the average person with one or two puppies the convince of prepackaged worm treatments that can simply be sprinkled on puppy food is the best way to go; although more expensive.


If you are treating a number of puppies for worm prevention, You will want to go with Safe-Guard 10% suspension for livestock dewormer. The dosage for worms in puppies is much higher than the dosage on label for livestock worms. Fenbendazole dewormer needs to be administered at 1 cc per 5 lbs of dog weight for three straight days to prevent worms in dogs. So, a 50 lb dog would receive a 10 cc dose of dewormer for three straight days. A 5 pound puppy would receive 1 cc of dewormer for three straight days.

The 1000cc bottle of dewormer will treat 33 fifty lb dogs and the 125cc bottle will treat 4 fifty lb dogs for the 3 days required for canine worm treatment.

I use a 20cc Syringe to measure the dose of dewormer and shoot the dewormer directly into the puppy's mouth. I use either a MonoJect Syringe 1cc or 3 ml Syringes with Blunt Tip Fill Needles, 100 pack for measuring the dewormer dosage for the puppies (I buy the 3 cc syringes with needles, because I use these to administer vaccines).

On the next page I tell you how to treat your dog for Skin Issues