Hookworms are short (6-12 mm), thick worms that are whitish to reddish brown with a hooked front end.
Puppies & kittens: Anemia and pale mucous membranes, failure to gain weight, poor hair coat, dehydration, and dark and tarry diarrhea.
Adult dogs & cats: Usually few signs; often source of infection for puppies; can cause severe anemia, diarrhea, and weight loss in extreme cases.
People: Red, itchy, serpentine lesions on the skin.
How it's transmitted
Puppies & kittens: Crossing the placenta and through the mother's milk.
Dogs, cats & people: Ingesting them in feces and from the worms penetrating the skin (often from infected soil).
People most at risk
Farmers, gardeners, landscapers, sunbathers lying on the sand, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and children playing in potentially contaminated areas.
How to prevent it
* Promptly remove animal feces from the yard
* Cover children's sandboxes when not in use
* Wear shoes and gloves while gardening
* Wash hands thoroughly after playing outside or exposure to soil especially dirt under the fingernails)
* Deworm puppies and kittens every two weeks until they can receive a monthly preventive and control product
* To help prevent ingestion of infected animals or feces, keep dogs on leashes or in fenced yards and keep cats indoors
* Monitor children playing outside in sandboxes and parks
* Administration of monthly heartworm preventative helps to control these parasites!