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Hookworm and Your Dog

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Hookworm Basics

Hookworm and Your Dog


Hookworms are dangerous intestinal parasites that infect dogs.

All areas of the United States have dogs infected with hookworms.3 In a nationwide study, hookworm eggs were found in 19.2% of all dogs. Prevalence varies from region to region.3

Hookworm Transmission Methods

Hookworm larvae can be transmitted in three ways:

  • Ingestion of larvae through the mother dog’s milk (the most common form)7
  • Ingestion of larvae by an adult or young dog
  • Penetration of skin by infective larvae

Health Risks Posed by Hookworm Infection

Hookworms present a severe health risk because of their unique feeding habit. They repeatedly remove a small amount of the intestinal lining, leaving bloody holes in their wake. This grazing results in blood loss and inflammation. Severe infection may lead to anemia, debilitation and even death.8 Young puppies are especially susceptible.

How to Protect Your Dog from Intestinal Parasites

Important Safety Information:
HEARTGARD (ivermectin) is well tolerated. All dogs should be tested for heartworm infection before starting a preventive program. Following the use of HEARTGARD, digestive and neurological side effects have rarely been reported. For more information, please visit

Click here to download full prescribing information.
3) Blagburn BL, Lindsay DS, Vaughan JL, et al. Prevalence of canine parasites based on fecal flotation. Comp Cont Ed 1996;18(5):483-509.
7) Kalkofen U. Hookworms of dogs and cats. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 1987;17:1347.
8) Guidelines for Veterinarians: Prevention of Zoonotic Transmission of Ascarids and Hookworms of Dogs and Cats. Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in cooperation with the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists. Document available at Accessed November 8, 2010.

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