Many dogs suffer from an infestation of hookworms.
This is a type of parasite that has a mouth that resembles a hook. This mouth is used to latch on to the walls of the intestinal tract within the dog. The parasites are relatively small - only measuring approximately one eighth of an inch in length. However, they are capable of pulling out an extremely large amount of blood from the vessels that are contained within the walls of the intestinal tract. If a dog has a large amount of hookworms within their body, it is highly possible for them to develop a condition known as anemia. While this condition has the capability of affecting dogs of all ages, younger dogs are the ones that are mostly susceptible.
Based on the current knowledge surrounding hookworms, there are four unique methods that a canine may become infected by these parasites. Many become infected while still in the placenta and others become infected as they consume their mother's milk. In addition to these methods of infection, a dog may become infected by hookworms through the mouth as well as through the skin. Regardless of the specific route that the parasites take, they can literally wreak havoc on the entire body of the dog. However, the most common complications occur within the digestive tract as well as the blood. There are many symptoms that a dog may experience if they suffer from hookworms. The following highlights the most common issues:
• Most dogs will start to display pale colors in the membranes - such as the gums.
• It is common for the pet to experience lethargy.
• The stool that is eliminated from the body of the dog that has hookworms is typically dark in color and the texture is typically described as being "tarry".
• The coat or fur of the animal will start to become dull in color.
• Many puppies that have this condition will experience complications associated with their overall growth.
• Gastrointestinal complications such as diarrhea and vomiting are extremely common among dogs that have contracted hookworms.
• The skin of the dog may become red and experience inflammation. You may find that the dog scratches at the skin consistently and sores develop which could bleed or become infected.