Hookworms are intestinal parasites that invade and inhabit the small intestine where they feed and reproduce. They attach to the lining of the intestine and suck blood. Cats can become infected by
- drinking water that is infected with the larvae of hookworm
- before birth-through placenta
- larval penetration through the skin
- by drinking the milk of their mother who is already infected
Hookworms may be present within the pets without showing any obvious symptoms and are diagnosed incidentally. However, when they are present in large numbers, they show signs of anemia as they are called tissue feeders and graze long the small intestine. When pets live in areas that are highly infected by hookworms, they develop inflammation on the feet due to their skin penetration. Treatment includes administration of deworming medication to kill adult hookworms. Treatment should be repeated after two to three intervals to get rid of them completely. To avoid transmission from pet to human, environmental decontamination is required. To keep your pet parasite-free, your pet should get regular deworming practices.