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PREVENTION OF ASCARIASIS IN CANINE BREEDING (Toxocara canis)

Toxocara canis is the most common parasite found in puppies in canine breeding. 95 % of ascaris larva present in puppies come from a prenatal contamination. Larva are normally encysted in the muscles of the bitch, and wake up during the heat, or arounf the 42nd day of the pregnancy, so they are able to trespass the placental barrier. Puppies generally begin to excrete eggs from the 15th day, or from the 5th week when they got contaminated through the milk or the external environment.

Worming rules and usable products

  • Choose drugs that are able to pass through the intestinal barrier, in order to destroy migrating larva.
  • Take different anthelminthic substances in turns, to limit the risk of resistance.
  • Give priority to treatments over several days, to ensure better destruction of larva.

To kill migrating larva, one can use the following molecules:

  • febantel (RINTAL?),
  • fenbendazole (PANACUR for dog?),
  • oxfendazole (DOLTHENE?),
  • or flubendazole (FLUBENOL?).

Injectable levamisole (NEMISOL?) is dangerous for puppies under 3 months and should not be administered to pregnant bitches during the first two thirds of the gestation.

Pyrantel (STRONGID?) is not active against migrating larva, neither piperazine. The last one is however interesting in case of mass parasitism of suckling puppies, because it expels the parasites instead of killing them. Consequently, it reduces the risk of dangerous toxine release, due to the destruction of lots of parasites. Piperazine must be used 3 days in a row. In small-breed dogs, it may cause vomiting. These anthelminthics are not active against unicellular parasites, such as Coccidia, responsible for bloody and mucous diarrhea around weaning.

Kennels hygiene

Worming animals does not exempt from cleaning the maternity everyday to prevent parasites eggs to develop into infestating larva. The stools of all the animals have to be evacuated. Then the yards are cleaned up with a detergent product, insisting on the wooden materials that are very difficult to purify. Rinsing must allow the waste water to flow towards an individual trap, specific to each yard. The eventual parasites left can be eliminated thanks to a final treatment with hot steam, (super-vap? type equipment), oo-cide? product (if no dog present), or with horticultural flamethrower (if the kennel structures make it possible).

Dogs may all become infestated through the same origin, which is often the exercise area. Ascaris eggs can resist up to 2 years in the external environment. Covering a grass or sand-area with gravel, easier to treat, is a way to stop many parasitic cycles.

Example of worming calendar

Queens worming

  • 4th, 3rd, and 2nd day before mating: PANACUR for dog (1 tablet / 5 kg / day)
  • 41st, 42nd and 43rd day of pregnancy: FLUBENOL (0,5 ml / kg / day) or PANACUR for dog?
  • 10 days after delivery: DOLTHENE (0,5 ml/kg 3 days in a row) or better, DRONTAL (1 tablet per 10 kg in one time)
  • At weaning: DRONTAL (same dosage as above) if there is a risk of taeniasis, if not RINTAL?
Puppies worming
  • From the 12th up to the 15th day (to limit the risk if larva migration): PANACUR for dog or FLUBENOL (DOLTHENE from the 15th day only)
  • Then, worming every 15 days until the puppy is 2 months old: using alternatively the products uplisted, and avoiding the stressful periods (weaning, departure from the kennel). From this moment, provided the puppy lives away from a canine collectivity, the parasitic threat becomes very reduced, and worming will be advised only in case of positive coproscopy.


Donated by the Borg Cardona and Co. Ltd. visit Borg Cardona website



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