Hookworms are small thin worms that range from a quarter to a half inch in length. They attack the small intestines of your pet, sucking blood and fluid from the host. This can lead to severe blood loss.
Puppies are at risk of death, because of the progressive blood loss. Signs of an infected animal are dark wine colored even black diarrhea, anemia, weight loss and progressive weakness. These symptoms can occur as early as ten days after being exposed.
These worms live in the soil and can survive up to seven days. Your pet can be infected through their skin, pads of their feet, or eating contaminated soil. It is important to keep areas sanitary and clean to reduce the risks of coming in contact.
Prevention is important and necessary due to the serious affects of this worm. Puppies as early as two weeks need to be started on a deworming ritual to protect them. Your Veterinarian will recommend a deworming schedule for your puppies that needs to be followed accurately. After one year of age, your pet can be dewormed annually. Prevention is the best course of action. Many of your Heartworm preventatives include a dewormer for hookworms.
Treatment involves dewormers prescribed by your Veterinarian. There are many types of dewormers to treat these parasites and they must be administered on a schedule recommended by your Veterinarian.
Hookworms can be passed to humans. They present as lumps and streaks that are extremely itchy. They will penetrate the skin when they come in contact. It is highly recommended to see a medical professional for treatment.
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