Hookworms in Dogs

Hookworms in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Anemia / Lethargy / Pale Mucous Membranes / Tarry Stool / Weakness / Weight Loss

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Rated as moderate conditon

14 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Anemia / Lethargy / Pale Mucous Membranes / Tarry Stool / Weakness / Weight Loss

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Hookworms in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What are Hookworms?

Hookworms are a widespread source of illness in dogs, most commonly contracted by eating the feces of infected animals or food contaminated with the parasite. The worms are able to invade the skin through direct contact, causing severe itching and rash. Hookworms make their way to the digestive tract and feed by latching on to the wall of the small intestine, sucking the animal’s blood. Due to their highly mobile nature, they can burrow through nearly any tissue and can be found throughout the body, causing complications and discomfort. Adult dogs may harbor worms without any symptoms, as their fully developed immune system can suppress the parasites to the degree that they are unable to cause clinical harm. However, these dogs often pass the worms on to puppies, who are more seriously affected. Evidence of hookworm infection in young dogs can include anemia, tarry stools, weakness, and weight loss. See the veterinarian immediately if your puppy presents with these signs, or you suspect your adult dog has acquired hookworms.

Hookworms are parasitic nematodes colonizing the skin and digestive tract of dogs. Often acquired by puppies, this condition poses a serious threat to the health of juvenile dogs if left untreated. Older dogs are also susceptible, and may transmit the worms to people if not identified and treated.

Symptoms of Hookworms in Dogs

  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Anemia
  • Dark, tarry stool
  • Weakness and lethargy

Causes of Hookworms in Dogs

  • Infection with roundworms
Types
  • Ancylostoma canium (tropical)
  • Ancylostoma braziliense (Florida to South Carolina)
  • Uncinaria stenocephala (Canada and Northern US)

Diagnosis of Hookworms in Dogs

Owners who notice gastrointestinal distress in their puppy, weight loss or lethargic behavior should contact a veterinarian immediately. If the dog in question is older, symptoms may be intermittent or very mild. If there is any doubt, a stool sample can be taken to your veterinarians office for evaluation.

A veterinarian will place a drop of water on a sample of your dog’s feces and examine it with a microscope. The eggs will float to the surface of the water and be easily detected. Occasionally, a puppy may become seriously ill before passing any eggs. This usually occurs when the mother is infected, and passes the parasite to her offspring through her milk. Secondary infections are of concern at this young age, and the worms are usually discovered after the death of the puppy.

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Treatment of Hookworms in Dogs

The primary treatment for hookworms is an antiparisitic, usually fenbendazole, moxidectin, or pyrantel. This treatment is administered orally for around 2-3 weeks. Other treatment that may be given includes IV fluids and electrolytes if the dog is weak, and iron supplements for anemia.

Recovery of Hookworms in Dogs

If caught early, it usually takes around 3-5 days for symptoms to resolve following medication, and a few weeks to completely eliminate the worms. In more serious cases, recovery will involve correcting and monitoring the peripheral symptoms that result from the condition, such as anemia and weakness. As with all parasitic infections, prevention is the best approach - avoid allowing your pet to consume feces while on walks, and avoid the yards and homes of pets who have recently contracted hookworms. Wear gloves to clean up hookworm-contaminated materials, and see a doctor immediately if you notice skin irritation or gastrointestinal symptoms yourself.

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Hookworms Average Cost

From 11 quotes ranging from $300 - $500

Average Cost

$350

Hookworms Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Wally

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Bernedoodle

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4 Months

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Serious condition

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Coughing
Snorting
Hungry

My 4 month old Bernadoodle has had hookworms since his first vet visit at 8 weeks. He's gone through 3 full rounds of Paracure and it's still there. Our vet said she's never seen this before and suggested we get him Advantage Multi since it sounds like a severe case of hookworm. He had loose stool/diarrhea for a week but the vet gave him a shot and prescription meds so that seems to be getting better although he hasn't pooped in the two days since then. We have him on a bland diet of chicken and rice and he seems starving all the time. We're mostly concerned because he has a cough and sometimes sounds like a pig snorting. It seems as though the Hookworms may have traveled to his lungs. The vet said they must have traveled through his tissues/muscle. He also seems to move around a lot when sleeping to find a comfortable position. I'm not sure if that's related or normal. Does this mean it's very dangerous? He has a ton of energy and is still eating/drinking since he started taking the pills for the diarrhea but I'm concerned about it spreading. Thanks!

July 26, 2018

Wally's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Only certain types of parasitic worms will migrate to the lungs in dogs (not all worms migrate), however Panacur (fenbendazole) is a good all round treatment for all types of lungworm which affect dogs. Without examining Wally I cannot confirm whether lungworms are the cause of the coughing or which types of eggs are found on a faecal floatation test. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.msdvetmanual.com/respiratory-system/lungworm-infection/overview-of-lungworm-infection www.msdvetmanual.com/dog-owners/lung-and-airway-disorders-of-dogs/lungworm-infection-in-dogs

July 27, 2018

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Rosie

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Walker Beagle Mix

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1 Day

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Mild condition

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Bleeding

I am giving Rosie Paracure, tylan and some probiotics for treatment for Diarrhea and Hookworms and it has been more then 4 weeks of medications and still has mild diarrhea and little bleeding is there any way to get rid of the Hookworms that is still present in Rosie

July 13, 2018

Rosie's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

You should have a faecal sample checked by your Veterinarian to determine whether there are still eggs present in the faeces and determine if a different course of treatment is needed; possibly the use of a different anthelmintic may be indicated if worms are still present. Regard Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 13, 2018

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Winnie

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Mini Dachshund

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4 Years

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Mild condition

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1 found helpful

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Loss Of Appetite

Winnie has been very tired acting the last couple of days. This morning she didn't eat and that's odd for her. She did have hookworms back in October and was treated with heavy antibiotics and wormer and was fine and I'm afraid they could be back? I gave her a basic dewormer for hookworms to hopefully hold her off until vets are open tomorrow. Are those symptoms lined up with hookworms?

June 3, 2018

Winnie's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Lethargy and loss of appetite are vague symptoms and are common with hundreds of different conditions; without examining her or her faeces I cannot say specifically what the cause is. You should monitor her for the time being and visit your Veterinarian for an examination to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 4, 2018

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Samson

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Bernese Mountain Dog

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10 Years

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Fair condition

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2 found helpful

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Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

Our dog Samson has hookworms in the soil of his yard. He has asked me to ask you how to eliminate them so he can be fully treated and enjoy his yard. There is now way to eliminate the racoons in our area as we are surrounded by pines. We live in Canada and the only non-toxic treatment isn't available here.

May 6, 2018

Samson's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Hookworms are spread through fecal infection, and passed if the feces is ingested. Most monthly heartworm prevention medications also treat hookworms, to keep infections from occurring. If Samson has been diagnosed with hookworms, your veterinarian probably gave a specific medication to treat the parasite, and the yard can be kept hookworm free by cleaning up any feces quickly and not letting it sit so that he can be re-infected. Hookworms are not commonly spread by raccoons, to my knowledge, so keeping the yard clean and keeping Samson on a monthly preventative that also treats for hookworms should keep things under control.

May 6, 2018

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Conner

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Mix

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5 Years

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Moderate condition

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-1 found helpful

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Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Tired
Loose Stool
Black Stools

My newly rescued 5-yr old pup has hookworms and on medication. He has separation anxiety and constantly wants to lay on my 7 yr old son's lap and on my son's blanket. Should I be concerned about his type of contact until his worms are gone?

March 21, 2018

Conner's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Hookworms can be passed to people, through fecal-oral contact. I'm not sure when he was diagnosed, what type of medication, or for how long the medication has been given, but it would be a good idea to take a recheck fecal sample to your veterinarian and make sure that the parasites have been cleared. In the meantime, good hygiene tends to prevent people from getting these infections.

March 21, 2018

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Koa

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German Shepherd

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1 Year

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Mild condition

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea Upon Diagnosis, Now Fine

We recently adopted a 1 yr old GSD mix, turns out she has hookworms. She finished her 2nd round of 3 day Panacur on 2/6. How long should I wait to bring in a new fecal sample for retesting?

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Ollie

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Mixedbreed

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5 Months

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Vomiting

I treated my puppy with a liquid medication today and didn’t realize it was only for roundworms. However, he has hookworms. Would it be okay to give him a pill tomorrow for the hookworms?

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Oakley

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French Bulldog

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6 Months

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Fatigue
Hookworms
Hacking Cough - Persistent

We just got our new puppy about a month ago. She is a 5 month old French Bulldog. She had a cough when we got her and she came with antibiotics and cough med. finished those and the cough went away for about 2 weeks. She started coughing again. It’s a hack sounding cough as if something may be stuck in her through. Day 5 I decided to take her to vet as she was coughing then vomited up a bookworm. Confirmed at vet. We are on a treatment for 3 days then we are to repeat the med again for 3 days in 3 weeks. Her cough is still pretty bad. We are only on day 2. I expect it to still be there but it’s truly concerning me as I feel terrible. She’s crazy hungry and eats and drinks well. She’s always been a very mellow puppy so I’m wondering if this was going on from the start. My question is - how long should we expect her to have this hacking cough? When should I become worried that something more is wrong or the meds aren’t working? She’s had this cough for about a week now. Thanks for any advice you can give. One worried Frenchie mama!

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Bruno

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pit mix

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Fur Loss
Pale Pink Gums
Pale Skin
Itching Rash
Drooping Eyelid
Third Eyelid Exposed

I adopted a 2 year pit boxer mix from my local SPCA in April and was told he was treated for hookworms at the last shelter he was at. Well I was unaware that one dose is not enough until I took him to the vet and they told me he most likely still had hookworms. Dealing with my own medical issues and working terrible hours (along with hardly any cooperation from the SPCA), he just started on his medicine today. Since it has been 3 months since I have gotten him (and who knows how much longer he had this before), about how serious could his current condition be? I'm terribly worried because of how tired he is, he is usually so energetic and is nothing like himself now. It seems as though he has mange as well based off of my expert Googling, and as of yesterday he's having issues with his left eye. Are all of these issues connected to his hookworm infection?

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Lily

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Border Collie

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

My girl was diagnosed with hookworms by her vet. They gave us a 3 day treatment of panacur. She has started showing her true self but is still weak. She barely eats. We are going on day 5 after diagnosis. How long before I can expect her to start eating normal again? She's barely eating anything. Thank you.

Hookworms Average Cost

From 11 quotes ranging from $300 - $500

Average Cost

$350

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