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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Worms, Hookworms (Ancylostoma) View In Cats

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Condition Overview

Many parasites can reside inside a pets gastrointestinal tract. The most common causes of problems are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and heartworms.

Symptoms

Dogs with chronic Hookworms often show no symptoms. If symptoms are present they will include: diarrhea, wine-dark or tar black diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, weight loss, or pale mucous membranes caused by anemia.

Symptoms can appear as early as 10 days after exposure.

Causes

Hookworm eggs are passed in the feces and incubate in the soil. Under proper conditions, the eggs hatch in 48 hours and release larvae that are infective in 5-7 days. Hookworm larvae are microscopic in size and penetrate the skin, usually through the paws, and may be transmitted to puppies through the weaning mothers milk or through the placenta in utero. Hookworms can also be ingested from the environment (soil, grass, leaves).

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by finding eggs in the feces during a fecal exam (performed by a Vet). Due to the fact that eggs do not appear in the feces for 2-3 weeks, however, there may be an interval during which a fecal examination is negative and the diagnosis must be made on the basis of clinical signs.

Treatment

Nemex, Panacur, Drontal Plus, Telmintic, and Vercom Paste are all highly effective in treating Hookworms. Treatment should be repeated in one to two weeks, because the initial deworming activates encysted larvae and causes a new crop of adult worms to appear within 10-12 days. A follow up fecal exam is recommended to ensure all parasites have been removed.

Prevention

Heartworm preventatives such as Interceptor and Heartgard Plus do a great job of controlling many common worms.

To control reinfestation, it is necessary to get rid of the pests that may carry the worms. Many intestinal parasites spend their larval stages in other animals and develop into adults only when the dog or cat eats one of these animals.

Preventing pets from roaming and hunting will reduce their exposure to parasites, as well as toxic substances and poisons. Thoroughly cook all fresh meat prior to feeding it to your pet.

You can also prevent roundworm infection by picking up and properly disposing of feces daily. Everyone, (but especially) infants and young children that play with and handle nursing pups must wash their hands to prevent the transference of worm material.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian if you suspect your pet may be infested with worms.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats

Publisher: Bantam Dell Publishing, 1996

Website: http://www.randomhouse.com/bantamdell/

Authors: Matthew Hoffman, Laura Catalano, Maryanne Dell

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