Canine Parasite Management: 4 Devastating Consequences Of Hookworms In Dogs

Posted on: 20 December 2016


When you first got your puppy, you likely took them to the vet to get their shots and have them de-wormed because you know that a parasite infestation in a puppy can be deadly. But how good are you at preventing parasite infestations in your adult dog? Is your dog on a regular maintenance regimen to prevent fleas and worms? At the very least, do you give your dog medicine to kill worms at least every 3 months? If not, your dog is at risk for hookworms and other deadly infestations. And it's serious business. Following are four devastating consequences of hookworms in dogs.

Intense Diarrhea

Hookworms attach themselves to the lining of your dog's intestines, which can cause a great deal of inflammation. Inflamed intestines are responsible for producing intense bouts of diarrhea along with vomiting. Not only will your dog be very uncomfortable, they may become dehydrated as a direct result of the diarrhea. As the condition progresses, you may even notice a lot of mucous and/or blood in their stool. 

Blood Loss

As mentioned, hookworms feed by attaching themselves to the intestinal wall. When they do so, they can cause it to bleed. Dogs with hookworms often develop intestinal bleeding all throughout their digestive tract. You may only see bright red blood at first, which means the blood is coming from the large intestine. However, with time, their stool will get dark and tarry, indicating that the blood is coming from further up. Blood loss is a huge concern in dogs because it can cause them to become anemic, which can be life-threatening if severe. 

Weight Loss

When you dog doesn't feel well, they may not want to eat. A parasite infestation may also make it difficult for them to properly absorb nutrition. Weight loss can occur as a result. As the infestation progresses, you will notice that your dog has less energy and that their skin looks saggy. If allowed to continue, you will be able to observe noticeable weight loss. 

Breathing Problems

In severe infestations, the hookworms can travel all the way up to the throat and lungs, causing coughing and breathing trouble. If this happens, the situation becomes even more deadly. Dogs with hookworm infestations that are this severe can die at any moment. 

Since hookworms are present in the environment, it doesn't take much for your dog to get them. For this reason, you should always protect your pet with a regular prevention regimen. Contact a company like Apple Valley Animal Hospital to learn more.