Yes, humans can get hookworms from a dog? Hookworms from dogs penetrate a human’s skin and then infects them. It can be transmitted by walking barefoot on the beach, digging in the garden or other locations where pets deposit feces.

According to the CDC, “an estimated 576-740 million people in the world are infected with hookworm. Most people infected with hookworms have no symptoms. People infected for the first time can have some gastrointestinal symptoms. Blood loss leading to anemia is one of the most serious effects of hookworm infection, in addition to protein loss. Medication prescribed by your health care provider can treat Hookworm infections”.

Worm Series

Did you know that there are five types of worms that can seriously affect your animals? One of the most common health problems for dogs is worms. There are five types of worms that generally affect dogs, and in this is series, we will discuss each type of worm: 

This blog will discuss Hookworms.

Causes

There are four different ways a dog can get hookworms:

  • In utero
  • Skin contact
  • Ingesting orally
  • Through mother’s milk

When a dog sniffs or eats contaminated soil or feces, they can accidentally ingest the larvae. While dogs are drinking contaminated water or grooming their paws, larvae can burrow into the skin of unsuspecting dogs if the dog lies on contaminated soil.

Mothers can pass hookworms on to their pups. The larvae infect the puppies either in the uterus or through the bitch’s milk when the puppies nurse. For puppies, hookworms can lead to severe anemia, which can be fatal.

Symptoms

A dog with the hookworms parasite is not healthy. Here are some symptoms:

  • Looks unhealthy
  • Poor appetite
  • Pale linings of dog’s lips, nostrils, and ears
  • Pale gums
  • Coughing (advanced if hookwormlarvae are in your dog’s lungs)
  • Dark and tarry stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss,
  • Pot-bellied appearance
  • Dull coat
  • Poor growth
  • Itchy paws
  • Low energy 

Diagnosing

To find out if your dog has hookworm, your vet will perform a diagnostic test called a fecal float. This reliable test is generally a good method of detecting hookworms.

In young puppies, the test is sometimes less reliable, as it takes two-to-three weeks for the larvae to mature and produce eggs, so talk to your vet about deworming protocols that can help prevent a hookworm infection in litters. 

Prevention

The key to treating hookworms is preventing reinfection. To prevent reinfection, it is imperative to clean up your dog’s feces immediately because the eggs pass through the feces.  Your vet can add a heartworm preventative medicine to take until the hookworm comes out. 

An overcrowded kennel is a perfect environment for Hookworms since they thrive in warm, moist environments. This is why it is extremely important to use proper kennel hygiene, cleaning up after dogs and disinfecting runs and yards. Check to see if the dog facility follows standard kennel protocols. Stay away from areas where there are large amounts of dog feces on the ground.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.