Hookworms in dogs are intestinal parasites that are usually found in the intestines of your dog. Unlike most other worms in dogs, hookworms are very small in length, about an inch long. They do not feed on the nutrients in your dog, but rather the blood and tissues inside the intestines. Hookworms can be very painful, and they will even detach from one part of the intestine and latch onto another part to feed again. Hookworms are known to leave ulcers in the intestines when they are finished feeding.
Hookworms in dogs can be contracted a few different ways:
- Consuming hookworm eggs through feces directly
- Consuming hookworms eggs through feces particles on the fur or in the dirt
- Entering under the skin, likely through the paws
- Puppies may contract hookworms from their mother’s milk
- Consuming a rodent that has been infected with hookworms
Symptoms of Hookworms in Dogs
Hookworms can affect any dog, but the most susceptible are puppies. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms of hookworms in dogs:
Keep an eye out for the following symptoms of hookworms in dogs:
- Pale gums.
- Hacking cough.
- Weight loss, and your dog will not be gaining weight, even if he is eating.
- Sores on the paws, in between the toes may be red and infected. This is caused by hookworms directly entering the skin.
- Diarrhea, sometimes containing blood.
- Dark, tar colored feces.
- Poor skin and fur condition, often dry and flakey. Sometimes contain sores.
- Signs of obvious abdominal pain.
The severity of these symptoms may vary depending on the number of worms and larvae in the system. For example, there may not be any coughing if the larvae is not in the lungs. Only a large infestation of hookworms will cause severe symptoms. Your dog’s overall health and well-being, how fast you seek treatment and how long the infestation has been growing will usually determine how severe the infestation becomes.
For more information about other worms in dogs, symptoms, causes and treatment options of each, visit www.wormsindogs.net