Canine hookworms attach to the intestinal walls of your dog using hook-like structures in their mouths. They are very small parasites that are among the leading types of worms that infect dogs. They have a very small size, but are capable of sucking a lot of blood from the blood vessels in the intestinal wall. Therefore, larger infestations of hookworms in dogs can cause anemia.
These parasites are most common in puppies. They can become infected by consuming their mother’s milk, or even before being born since the worms can get through the placenta. These parasites sometimes occur in adult dogs if they swallow the larvae that’s located in soil, water, or dead animals.
Canine hookworms are even capable of penetrating the skin, so dogs can also get infected that way. Once they get through the skin, they will make their way to the intestine where they will mature.
As mentioned, hookworms in dogs commonly leads to anemia if the infestation gets worse. Anemic dogs will have pale gums, weakness, and bouts of diarrhea. The stool may even have blood in it. Other dogs will start losing weight after becoming infested with these parasites.
Young puppies infection with hookworms may not grow like the rest of the litter. When the hookworms travel through the skin, your dog will certainly feel it. The affected area will become very itchy and overall uncomfortable.
Female canine hookworms can produce thousands upon thousands of eggs on a daily basis. The veterinarian simply has to example a stool sample with a microscope in order to detect them.
Once detect, hookworms in dogs can be dealt with easily. Taking a standard deworming medication will be enough to get rid of them. However, only adult worms will be affected by this medication. After larvae has had a chance to mature over the course of two to four weeks, medication can be given again to kill them. Dogs that suffer from severe anemia may need a blood transfusion.
It may be necessary to treat the environment with chemicals if you want to prevent reinfection with canine hookworms. The larvae can survive in soil and is commonly found in feces. Contaminated soil can also contain larvae that can infect humans if they aren’t careful.