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Puppies can get roundworm from their mothers, even from drinking their mother's milk. Other animals including chickens and rodents can harbor roundworms too, and pass them on to dogs.
Roundworms can be fatal in young puppies, and they can harm older puppies and young dogs if left untreated. They are easily treated, but the treatments need to continue for several weeks. Many pet health care plans cover the treatment and diagnosis of roundworms in dogs because people can also carry the parasites, and infected dogs can infect people.
Puppies should be dewormed shortly after they are born (two to three weeks), and mothers should be dewormed before they give birth. Dogs can become susceptible to roundworms, so periodic treatments may be necessary. Check with your pet health plan company to see if they limit the number of roundworm treatments per year.