Hookworms are parasites of the small intestine where they live, feed themselves by sucking blood, and reproduce. Puppies and kittens are most likely to have them. They get infected
- by the environment if it is contaminated by the hookworm larvae.
- Even before birth, hookworms can cross the placenta.
- Puppies or kittens on mother feed can get them through mother’s milk.
Hookworms may not show any overt sign even if they are present in the body and may found incidentally on routine fecal examination. If they are present in large numbers, they may cause anemia in the body, weight loss, and diarrhea due to a large amount of blood ingested by them. In severely contaminated areas, pets can develop skin inflammation due to burrowing of the skin by larvae to get into the body. Treatment of the infection requires cleaning up of the environment and medication for deworming. Environmental contamination is a major cause of transmitting the disease to people which can be avoided by environmental decontamination. Regular fecal testing and deworming practice of your pet should be ensured to keep your pet and family parasite-free.