Hookworm Infection in Dogs
Definition of Hookworms
Hookworms are internal parasites that live in a dog’s digestive tract. Puppies become infected when hookworm larvae pass through the placenta of infected bitches. Newborns can get hookworms through their mother’s milk if she is infected. Dogs of any age can get hookworms from the feces of infected animals, such as by licking their paws or grooming themselves after coming into contact with infected fecal material. Adult hookworms, which can reach 9 inches in length, can directly penetrate a dog’s skin and work their way into its bloodstream. These parasites spend most of their lives inside the small intestine, where they voraciously feed on blood and leave raw, weeping sores at the sites of their bites. Dogs with heavy hookworm infestation will become anemic, weak and have abdominal pain, diarrhea and stunted growth. If not treated, hookworm infestation can be fatal. People can also become infected with hookworms.
Puppies can become infected with hookworms before they are born, because the larvae of these parasites can pass through the placenta of infected bitches. Newborn puppies can also get hookworms through their mother’s milk, if she is infected. Not all pregnant female dogs carry hookworms, especially if they are on a regular de-worming program. Hookworm eggs, and newly-hatched hookworm larvae, can be picked up in the environment from the feces of infected animals. They can
Hookworms live most of their lives inside of a dog’s small intestine, where they latch onto the intestinal lining and feed on the dog’s blood. They leave raw, weeping sores at the sites of their bites. Dogs with a heavy hookworm load suffer abdominal pain. In other words, they have bad belly-aches. They also have digestive problems, develop diarrhea, become weak and generally feel lousy. When hookworms penetrate a dog’s skin (usually through its paws),
When a dog that is doing poorly comes to a veterinarian, it will be given a thorough physical examination. The vet will probably also take blood, urine and stool samples, to evaluate the dog’s overall health and to look for the presence of parasite eggs or larvae. Dogs with a heavy hookworm infection usually are anemic, which means that they have an abnormally low number of circulating red blood cells. This happens because hookworms feed
Hookworms are parasites in the genus Ancylostoma, which in their adult and 4th-larval stages live and breed inside of the intestines of companion animals. They are voracious blood feeders, and they attach (or “hook”) onto the intestinal lining of dogs and cats, causing blood loss and subsequent anemia. If left untreated, hookworms can cause severe illness, and even sudden death, especially in young puppies who acquire the parasite by transmammary infection – that is, from