by: Ashley Murphy

Intestinal worms and parasites are very common in dogs and cats.  They infect not only puppies and kittens, but also adult pets.  Hookworms get their name from the hook-like mouth parts they have.  They attach themselves to the intestinal walls of your pet.  They are very small and can only be seen under a microscope.  Hookworms can be passed from a mother to her puppies before birth or even after birth through her milk.  Your pet can also pick them up from an infected environment.  (Orally and through their skin).  Dogs and cats infect their surroundings with these worms through feces.  Hookworms are zoonotic.  Yes, even humans can get hookworms through direct contact with infected feces.  It is very important to pick up your pet’s stool in your yard and dispose of it.  Hookworms can stay in the environment for months.

Signs may include:

*Weight loss

*Vomiting

*Diarrhea

*Loss of appetite

Some pets show no sign of infection, and hookworms are found on a routine parasite exam.  If a pet has a moderate amount of hookworms it can also cause anemia.

We recommend yearly parasite exams to check for hookworms and other intestinal worms and parasites.  We offer several monthly preventatives to help protect your pet from hookworms and other intestinal worms.

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