Hookworms are a common intestinal parasite in dogs and cats. Hookworm eggs pass from dog to dog in feces. Additionally, the larvae can be ingested, as well as pass intradermally (through the skin) or transmit through the mother’s milk to newborn pups. Hookworms (Ancylostoma Caninum) can penetrate the skin of children’s bare feet and can cause blindness.
Hookworm eggs live in the dirt in back yards, along sidewalks, public parks; anywhere dog’s have defecated. Hookworms cause illness and anemia by sucking blood from the intestines of dogs & cats. They tear out pieces of the intestinal wall for nourishment leaving bleeding wounds or suck blood directly from the wall of the intestine. Symptoms of hookworm infestation include dark stool, bloody diarrhea, weight loss, dry coat, lack of energy, and pale gums in an anemic patient.
Hookworms are easily prevented by administering a dose of Pyrantel Pamoate on the first of every month. Pyrantel Pamoate is typically administered along with Ivermectin Heartworm protection in the form of Heartgard Plus, Iverheart Plus or Revolution. Treatment is accomplished by a three day protocol of Pyrantel Pamoate and all pets in the house should be treated simultaneously. Because of the wide prevalence of Hookworms twice yearly fecal testing is the safest course.