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You can't get rid of them so learn to manage them in American Bullies and French Bulldogs

Intestinal parasites have been around since the dinosaurs and are not going away - you need to manage them.  Parasites do not want to kill your kitten or puppy; they want to use them as a dinner plate.  They do not mind dragging pets down, causing rough hair coats, or anemia.  Managing your parasites is not about deworming more or with more products.  It is about using correct dewormer at the right time to get the biggest effect for our time and money.

Upper GI:  It helps to know the parasite we are targeting.  Rounds and hooks are in the small intestines and adults are easy to get rid of as most dewormers are active in the small intestine.

  • Roundworms are 18" long and look like spaghetti.  If puppies or kittens are vomiting parasites, it is roundworms.  If you have a lot of roundworms, they can be seen in the stool.  Rounds are usually digested before they through the intestinal track.
  • Hookworms are tiny (1/2" long) and difficult to see without a microscope.  They become a small cyst on the wall of the intestine sitting in a protected scar tissue egg.  They come out of the "scar tissue egg" when they detect pregnancy, milking, or removal of adults from the gut tube.
  • Both these parasites can migrate through tissue, especially the liver.  They get back to the intestine by migrating to the lungs where they are coughed up and swallowed.  Once back in the intestine, they complete the life cycle and reproduce.
  • Parasites can play a role in the 8 week old puppy cough.  Migrating stages are resistant to dewormer when out of the intestinal tube.  Once you get rid of adults in the intestine, the larvae can pop out of the tissue and set up in the intestine you just cleared.
  • Both rounds and hooks can infect humans and must be managed out of our puppies before sending them to a new home.

Lower GI:  Tapes and whipworms are in the large intestine.  They are about 30 feet down from the mouth so getting dewormer to stay active for that distance is difficult.

  • Tapes are different from other intestinal parasites as cats are from dogs.  They mostly live on dog waste and cause colitis and irritation of the rectal area.  Treatment with parziquantel will eliminate adults.
  • Egg packets are passed and look like rice in the feces or on the rectal area.  These eggs have to mature in an intermediate host (fleas, mice, or birds) and once that host is eaten by the dog or cat they get tapeworms.  If you prevent them from getting the intermediate host, you stop tapeworms.
  • Whipworms are killed by few dewormers.  Preventing re-infection is the key with whipworms that are directly infective.  They will seed an excercise area down, mature, and another dog will ingest them.  Raised decks prevent this re-infection and break the lifecycle.  New additions to a kennel to be cleared of whipworm to prevent introduction.

Other Problem Parasites:  Giardia and coccidia.

  • Both coccidia and giardia are tiny and are diarrhea causing opportunists.  Something starts the diarrhea and they keep it going.
  • Coccidia control involves keeping the numbers so low in the kennel that you rarely need to treat and prevention drugs are effective.  Much the same is true of giardia.

Adults are the backbone of preventing parasites.  The fewer parasites mom passes to the babies, the fewer we need to manage out of our babies.  Males are dewormed twice a year and moms are dewormed before giving birth.

Bitches:  Parasites get active in late pregnancy when females are heavy pregnant and stressed.  This is the time when moms can least resist parasites.  Babies are born with sterile guts and moms seed their guts with good bacteria to assist with digestion.  However, she can also seed them with parasites.  Rounds, hooks, whips, coccidia, and giardia cal all be given to the puppy in the nursing period.  As the parasites take in the mother's nutrition, they'll also take in the dewormer - meaning we can kill them effectively.  Mom may be the source of these parasites, but the parasites can be controlled.  Febendazole is labeled for pregnant moms.  It not only gets the worms, but it also kills giardia.  By cleaning the mother in late pregnancy, you can also solve he parasite issues for your puppies later.

  • After 50 days gestation, deworm 3 days with Safeguard to remove as many parasites from mom before birth as possible.

Coccidia Prevention needs to be started before birth and continued to weaned pups.  Be cautious as many products are not safe in pregnant moms.

  • Cocci Guard is added at 2 cups per 40lb of puppy food.  Feed the last two weeks of pregnancy.  This will decrease the number of coccidia transferred to babies.  Decoquinate works by preventing coccidia from reproducing so they die from attrition (Old age).  Cocci Guard is safe for pregnant dogs.  Cocci Guard is continued after weaning puppies.
  • Puppies can go on Albon or generic after weaning for 7 days.  Can use after 35 days pregnant.
  • Marquis (0.1cc/lb) is used one week apart to treat and often given before shipping to prevent coccidia while puppy is stressed from transporting and new home.  

Newly Aquired Animals:

Heartworms: Heartworm, or dirofilaria immitis, is an actual worm that resides in a dog's heart.  The parasite can grow between six and twelve inches long, and an infected dog may host more than a hundred worms which can spread to the lungs and large vessels in the circulatory system.  As the parasites mature, they block flow and can lead to anemia or heart failure.

Heartworm is carried by mosquitoes and fleas in the tropical and semi-tropical climates such as the Southern United States, but  occurrences are not limited to those areas.  As a dog owner travel, they can expose their pets to the disease, and nothern mosquitoes can aquire the parasites as larvae from the infected dogs.  Cases of this parasite have now been reported throughout the United States, and parasite can affect all Dog Breeds.

Heartworm Symptoms are not typically noticable until adult worms begin to clog the animal's circulatory systemm which may be several months after the initial infection.  Potential symptoms include: 

  • anemia, characterized by pale gums, excessive sleep, weight loss, and lethargy
  • coughing as worms settle in the lungs
  • lack of energy or easy exhausted because heart is overworked
  • weight loss even without reduced appetite
  • weakened immune system leading to frequent minor illnesses
  • fainting spells due to reduced blood flow

Heartworm Treatment: Although it is a serious condition, this infection can be treated.  Because diagnosis is not typically made until adult worms have become prevelant, treatment ussually  involves hospitalisation.  Injections can kill worms living in the dog's heart, but they must be administered with care because the powerful drugs can also damage the animal's liver and kidneys.  Blood test can ascertain both the success of the treatment as well potential damage to other organs.

Preventing Heartworm:  Treatment is expenssive a difficult, so prevention is key to managing heartworms. 

Canine Vaccines:


 American Bully and French Bulldog Reproduction


Benefits of Folic Acid:

Bottle Feeding Orphan Puppies:

Artificial Insemination:






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