How do dogs get hookworms
Dogs are susceptible to be parasite central sometimes. They are the primary host for heartworms, a parasite that infects cats and even humans. Fleas and ticks adore them and they are a breeding ground for hookworms it seems. Dogs can easily get hookworms and they aren’t as instantly detrimental to your pet’s health as other types of parasites, but it is important to detect and cure hookworms as soon as you can or your dog could end up suffering and costing you a great deal of money in veterinary bills in the long term.
What are Hookworms?
Hookworms are small, worm-like parasites that live within dogs and feed off of them – similar to a heartworm. The fact that hookworms and heartworms are parasites that live within dogs is pretty much where the similarity ends, because they do not look the same and they live in totally different parts of the dog’s body. Hookworms get their name from the small hook-like instrument on their head that they use to dig into the wall of a dog’s intestinal tract – it helps to keep them there. They draw blood from the walls of the intestines and have been known to cause severe anemic problems in young dogs. In most cases hookworms are a puppy problem, but they can develop in adult dogs as well.
How do Dogs Get Hookworms?
Hookworms can be transferred to dogs through a variety of methods. The primary causes of hookworms for dogs are through the mother’s milk when nursing, through the top layer of their skin, through the mouth and even through the placenta before the puppy was born. It is a rather natural thing that many puppies go through and for veterinarians, deworming young dogs is a run of the mill practice and is advisable for all newborn puppies whether they are known to be infected or not. The younger the dog is the more susceptible to hookworm-related anemia they are, so it is imperative to get them treated as soon as possible.
The Trouble with Hookworms
Anemia is the primary problem that puppies go through as a result of hookworm infection. This is because the hookworms lodge themselves on the dog’s intestinal walls and draw as much blood as they can, procreate and suck more blood. If you were losing that much blood, you would be infected too! One female hookworm can lay thousands upon thousands of eggs everyday, so the problem of hookworms is practically impossible to halt or contain without professional or medical assistance. Sometimes, when a large number of eggs are present it is possible to see the infection through an inspection of a puppies’ feces, but not always.
Treating Hookworms in Your Dog
Fortunately for you and your dog, hookworms are quite easily treated. Most of the time an oral medication is all that is needed to cure the problem, but a follow up treatment a few weeks later to kill any remnants that may have hatched. Your veterinarian may even have a dewormer that tastes great, so your dog will eat it up like a treat. This is one of the uncomplicated pet related problems to treat and it is very common and if detected early, hookworms can be a thing of the past.