Seven Hookworm Infection Questions That Pet Parents Ask
Dogs are normally susceptible to worm infection in lack of proper environmental cleanliness and worm management program. As most worm symptoms are similar to the symptoms of other common infections, they sometimes mislead dog owners in providing the right treatment. Therefore, many pet parents pose various questions regarding hookworm infection.
Top Seven Most Inquisitive Hookworm Infection Questions That Pet Parents Ask
To help find pet owners answers to these questions, here we have penned down the most rational questions with substantial answers.
What is Hookworm Infection?
Hookworms are parasites that live in other living beings. These blood sucking creatures attack, reside and reproduce in dog’s small intestines. Adult worms bite sites and these sites continue to seep blood. Fully developed hookworms may cause severe anemia and inflammation in dog’s intestine. If hookworm larvae invade into lungs, a dog may suffer from cough. This may even result into poor appetite, loss of weight and the linings of its nostrils, lips and ears will be pale.
How does my Dog get Hookworms?
Normally, puppies get these worms through milk from their mothers. The infestation is also caused by ingestion or by larva penetration through the skin. Hookworm larvae that hatch from eggs can remain infective in soil for weeks or months. A dog suffers from this worm infection when accidently he/she swallows hookworm larvae, most likely by licking his feet or contaminated water or environment e.g. sniffing soil or digging.
What are symptoms of Hookworm Infection?
Usually, a dog suffering from hookworm infection shows loss of stamina and poor appetite. Looking unhealthy, the linings of its nostrils, lips and ears will be pale. In case, hookworm larvae stuck into dog’s lungs, the dog will suffer from coughing and at worst may even result into dark and tarry stool, constipation and diarrhea. If your dog is not treated immediately, it can be fatal.
Can my dog with hookworm infection make me sick?
Puppies are highly vulnerable to hookworm infection, and if your dog is infected, you may be likely to get infection indirectly. It is not possible to get infected by petting your dog. In the pet’s stool, eggs are found, which hatch into larvae. By touching the contaminated soil with bare hands and feet, where your pet has defecated, can certainly cause hookworm infection in you.
How serious is hookworm infection to my dog?
If your dog is suffering from hookworm infection from a long time, he/she can become anemic and if not treated timely, it can be too late even risking the life. Anemia results as these worms feed on blood in intestinal tract.
Your dog may also face other complications like inflammation in dog’s small intestine, bloody stool, nutritional deficiencies and severe abdominal pain. Frequent hookworm infection can result into restricted growth and low appetite.
How is hookworm infection treated in dogs?
To treat hookworm infection in dogs, many medications are available that will kill and eliminate these worms. Starting the treatment, the medications need to be continued on the regular basis in order to further prevent re-infestation. As puppies are highly affected, they need to be treated as young as 2 weeks of age.
In severe cases, they need to be hospitalized for blood transfusion, fluid therapy and oxygen therapy, depending on the condition of a dog. There may be a possibility of sudden death even during the treatment.
How do I prevent hookworm infection in my dogs?
Dogs especially puppies are vulnerable to hookworm infection. Keeping your environment clean is the first step in controlling this infection. Ensure that the water accumulation in a container or low-lying area should be cleaned immediately. With a pond in the surrounding make it a point to clean it regularly. If you find any of the worm signs like vomiting, diarrhea, tarry stool, weakness, low diet or anemia, consult your vet for your dog’s stool test.
The perfect way to prevent this disease is regularly treating your dog with worm control preventives. These medications help in eliminating the worm immature stages and restrict the spread of infection. Regular preventatives help in protecting your dog from the risk of hookworm infection.
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