Hookworms in dogs can cause a lot of damage. Even more to puppies they can be fatal. In this post, we share information about hookworms: the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention.
What Are Hookworms In Dogs?
They are parasites. Intestinal parasites which are small, thin worms with the length about less than an inch. They have this hook-like teeth to make them stay attached to the intestinal wall. These hookworms stay attached to the intestinal wall to feed on blood and the tissues. They are keep moving around the intestinal wall. Detach and move to other spots.
Every time they move, they leave little ulcers at walls where they have fed previously. That is why hookworms can be fatal to puppies. They can cause fatal blood loss in puppies.
Hookworms live in the intestinal. But they pass their eggs in the feces. This is where they develop into larvae and spread themselves on the outside environment. From this environment, hookworms can infect dogs in several ways:
Directly ingested through dogs mouth. Dogs sniff and lick a lot of objects. This can be an entry for hookworms’ larvae.
Skin contact. Hookworms can migrate through dog’s skin, usually at belly or paws skin area.
Other than outside environment, hookworms can be pass from an infected mother to puppies during pregnancy or through their milk.
Symptoms of hookworms in dogs can be similar to other illness. Regardless, if any of these symptoms occur, it is better to consult with your vet for first medical help.
- Signs of likely to be anemia, pale gums or lips or ear area and weakness
- Diarrhea, sometimes bloody (dark and tarry) stools
- Loss of appetite, weight loss or poor growth
- Itchy paws, skin irritation in area where the hookworms’ larvae migrating
- Coughing, this occur when the hookworms have reach to the lungs
To diagnose a dog with hookworms, a vet need to perform some test with microscope called fecal flotation to look for hookworms and their eggs.
There are some medication to treat hookworms. Your vet will consult with you to pick the right one for your dog. Just in case there are some special condition with your dog. These medication usually treat mature hookworms and not the eggs. Therefore this treatment usually might need a few weeks to deal with the larvae as they mature.
These medications are usually oral. In some cases, a blood transfusion might need to help the dog with severe anemia.
There are no specific product to treat or to remove hookworms from yards. The best we can do is by consulting with the vet about preventive plan. And also be observant and act quickly about the environment and your dog. We better aware with some conditions to prevent hookworms’ infections.
- Hookworms grows really fast in moist and warm environments
- Quickly pick up your pet waste
- Avoid areas where you find many dog feces around
Can you get hookworm from a dog?
Hookworms can also infect people. Although most cases are not serious. Proper treatment and good hygiene are important to prevent this health concern toward people and their dogs or pets.
Please Note: This post has been provided for informational purposes only. If any signs of illness occur, please consult a veterinarian as quickly as possible.