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All Dog

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Hookworms (Ancylostoma)

Effects on my dog?

Hookworms suck blood and cause internal blood loss. They are a serious threat to dogs, especially young puppies that may not survive the blood loss without transfusions. For adult dogs the blood loss may be more chronic, and the dog may will have diarrhoea and present weight loss. In both instances the hookworms cause damage at the immediate and long term levels and treatment is essential.

Treatment ?

Diagnosis and treatment by your veterinarian  is of course the recommended option, however, we at have received hundreds of letters from pet lovers that either don’t have a local veterinarian  or commonly cannot afford one!  With hookworms and worms in ‘general’, there are some highly effective de-wormers that will rid your dog of worms.  A local charity veterinarian  treated a friends’ dog with a formula which had to be applied to the back neck of the dog in one treatment by the owner, not the vet!

As well as killing hookworms, this treatment also killed off several other parasite types across a wide spectrum. As a preventative treatment this was excellent, however, and there always is a however, when it comes to parasitic worms it is essential to identify these and ensure the treatment of specific to the parasite infecting the dog. Some parasites are indeed very specific as to what will stop them, and a general off the shelf or too commonly off-line treatments may not kill the parasite at all. For those for whom finances are difficult, this general spectrum treatment cost around $10…! It may also be better than nothing, as often parasitic infestations are not alone.

If Hookworms have been identified and there is no mistake that it is Hookworms, the availability of de-worming treatments and topical treatments are a great alternative to what may be costly vet care which in the end may inhibit any treatment at all.  Other similar treatments are available around the world and may need to be repeated after 10 days or so, and are a life-saving and life-improving treatment for your dog at a very low cost.

Puppies should be treated for hookworms at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks of age with a de-worming medication as mentioned above.  This frequent treatment  is recommended due to the  high rate of hookworm infection in newborn puppies.

Treatment these days of intestinal worms will be a topical treatment, not an injection or tablet but a few drops onto the skin of the dog, and will cover a number of intestinal worms that would have been treated separately in years past. Advocate by BAYER, as mentioned from personal experience, treats some 11 different parasitic worms of which many are fatal without treatment.

Hookworms on Humans?

Some hookworms can infect humans by penetrating the skin. This is most likely to occur whilst walking barefoot on the beach or working in the garden or other areas where pets may deposit faeces. Infection will usually results in itching at the point where the larvae entered the skin, causing lumps and streaks beneath the skin, the condition usually clears up on its own. Any suspicions of hookworms or any worms on humans, should be diagnosed and treated by your own doctor.

It is a sad fact that thousands of dogs suffer and die through ignorance and lack of care, for the sake of some US $10!!

Hookworms are similar to tapeworms and roundworms in that they are intestinal parasites that live in the digestive system of your dog.  Hookworms are thin, tiny worms about 0.5 – 1.4 cm in length or quarter to half an inch.

They attach themselves by fastening their mouth parts onto the mucosa of the small intestines where they remain and feed on the host by sucking blood and tissue fluids. This usually results in severe blood loss and malnutrition.

Hookworms produce eggs which are ejected into the digestive tract after two to three weeks and subsequently passed into the environment through your dog’s faeces. Young hookworm (Larvae) will hatch from eggs and live in the soil. Under favourable conditions, the eggs will hatch in 48 hours and release larvae that are infective in five to seven days.

These larvae will infect your dog when they play and ingest dirt or during their routine licking when cleaning themselves. Hookworms can also enter your dog simply through contact and penetration of the skin.

    Ingesting larvae in the soil

    Ingesting larvae in mother’s milk

    Migration through the placenta

    Ingesting an intermediate (something already having hookworm)

    Direct penetration of the skin (particularly through the pads on the feet)

The majority of hookworm infestations in puppies occur during their fist two months of life and are acquired through the mother’s milk.

Signs of infection can be found by observing the diarrhoea of the puppy, this may show as bloody or tar-black diarrhoea. Progressive blood loss may cause these puppies to rapidly sicken and die. Intensive veterinary care is required.

Hookworms suck blood and therefore cause internal blood loss. They are a serious threat to dogs, especially young puppies that may not survive the blood loss without transfusions.

Dogs even with chronic hookworms may show no symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they include bloody or tar-black diarrhoea, pale mucous membranes caused by anaemia, weight loss and he progressive  weakness.

Symptoms can appear as early as 10 days after exposure. The diagnosis is made by finding eggs in the faeces. Although as eggs do not appear in the faeces for two to three weeks, there may be a period during which a stool examination will show as negative and the diagnosis must be made on the basis of clinical signs.

Unfortunately dogs who recover from hookworms will often become carriers via larvae encysted in their tissues. Under times of illness and stress, the larvae are released and a new outbreak of bloody diarrhoea will become apparent as worms appear in the intestines.

There are three species of parasitic hookworms that afflict dogs. These hookworms are most prevalent in areas of high temperature and humidity (southern United States), where conditions are favourable for the larvae to rapidly development and spread.

Hookworms that infect dogs belong to the Ancylostomatidae group of parasitic nematodes.

Members of this group can also infect cats, foxes, and humans. U.stenocephala, A.braziliense and A.caninum, and  are the species of hookworm which can cause infection in dogs and, rarely, in humans.

Hookworms can infect humans, often when kissing the dog or allowing it to lick your face etc. It is not sign of affection to allow your dog to lick your face or that of children and even babies, which can all too often be seen. It is a total lack of hygiene and acceptable behaviour when there are so many parasites which can be transferred from Dog to Human.

It cannot be over-expressed, the need to identify health and parasitic problems via a qualified veterinarian. Treating your dog without knowing what their problems may be, is a risky approach that may lead to the problem worsening or lading to an early and preventable death.


There are five recognized routes by which puppies and adult dogs  acquire hookworms;