Usually puppies are more prone to hookworms than adult dogs. Hookworms can be fatal to puppies since their immune system isn’t fully developed; but it’s not as serious in older dogs. It tends to cure quickly.
What Hookworms Look Like
They are typically invisible to the unaided human eye. They’re about ½ an inch long and super thin. Hookworms are bloodsuckers and have the capacity to drain 10% of your beloved dog’s blood per day.
Dogs are also susceptible to roundworms, whipworms, and tape worms. Hookworms are usually caused from soil that has worms. If the dog eats one of the eggs, the larvae travels to the lungs and eventually affects the dog’s entire bloodstream.
Before the hookworms infest the dog’s body; the larvae returns to the pet’s intestines. The larvae mature into adults in the intestines.
Symptoms of the Hookworms
The most common symptoms of hookworms are weight loss, anemia, progressing weakness and diarrhea.
Your dog will not experience hookworm symptoms until the larvae have already progressed into adults. Also, if an expecting female has hookworms, they can easily be transferred to the puppies (where it can be fatal).
How Do Dog’s Get Hookworms
Many dogs are born with hookworms. The hookworm larvae travel through the placental blood supply and reach the lungs of unborn pups. After birth, the larvae mature in the small intestine and begin sucking blood and laying eggs.
A second way is through the mother’s milk. Hookworm larvae enter through mammary glands and are transferred through nursing.
Third, Hookworm larvae reside in moist areas of soil, and underlying vegetation. Your pet may pick up these nasty bloodsuckers from spending time outside. They can even penetrate your dog’s skin. So be careful!
Treatment For Hookworms
You should consult with your vet to get an accurate diagnosis. Your vet will take a look at your dog’s feces and decide what the best treatment is.
Usually the vet will prescribe a de-wormer medication (pills) that must be ingested. The medicine poisons the worms, and makes the dog better! Be sure to follow the instructions on the label, because overdosing your dog with this medication can be fatal.
If you’re a dog owner, and your dog spends a lot of time outside− you should check your dog’s stool from time to time for signs of hookworms and other parasites.