are common parasites of dogs regardless of age. They are most
common in warm humid climates. Hookworms are smaller than roundworms.
They are called hookworms because they feed by hooking onto the
intestinal wall of the intestine with hooklike teeth.
have the ability to cause anemia (and sometimes death) in puppies
and adult dogs. They cannot be seen by the naked eye. The severity
of adverse effects will depend on the amount of worms in the intestine
and the animal’s overall health and age.
have pretty sharp teeth and cause the dog’s intestine to bleed.
Dogs can get hookworms from the ground where other dogs have passed
eggs before or from the milk of their mother if she was infected.
most significant problems appear related to intestinal distress
and anemia. Blood loss results from the parasites sucking blood
from intestinal capillaries. The presence of pale gums, diarrhea,
or weakness might suggest the need to specifically determine the
dog’s red blood cell count. Some dogs experience significant weight
loss, bloody diarrhea, or failure to grow properly with hookworm
irritation and itching can be one of the common signs of a heavily
infested environment. The larvae burrow into the skin and cause
the dog a great deal of itching and discomfort.
hookworms can penetrate skin tissue, it is possible for people to
pick up the larvae when walking barefoot on infected soil. Children
should not be allowed to play in areas where dogs defecate.
of hookworm infection include the following:
Diminished strength and vitality
The worms feed on the host’s blood. Puppies can develop life-threatening
anemia from blood loss even before eggs are detectable in the feces.
Hookworm disease is diagnosed by examining the feces for eggs.
oral medications are available for the treatment of hookworms and
several preventative monthly medications are also available. Pet
owners should discuss the options with their veterinarian.
is easily diagnosed by microscopic fecal exams. Treatment involves
one of many good drugs available in mild cases. In more severe cases
pyrantel pamoate, intravenous therapy, blood transfusions, and good
nutritional support is very important.
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