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Pet Info  > Intestinal worms  > Hookworms
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Hookworm in Cats and Dogs

What is Hookworm?

How are Hookworms Contracted?

Dogs and cats can get hookworm from ingesting larvae (young hookworms) in the environment that are in soil or faeces when they dig around with their mouths. Children are also at risk of ingesting hookworm larvae when they play outside and put their fingers in their mouths.

Hookworm larvae can penetrate the skin of dogs, cats and humans when skin is exposed to soil or faeces with larvae in it. They move to the blood stream, then to the lungs, are coughed up and swallowed, making their way into the digestive tract.

In dogs, hookworm larvae can also pass from mother to puppies during pregnancy and via breast milk.


Hookworm infestation affects puppies and kittens more severely than adult dogs and cats, symptoms include:

Foot lesionAnaemia


Hookworm infestation symptoms in humans are similar to that of dogs and cats. Children are more likely to suffer more severe symptoms than adults, symptoms include:

Human deaths from hookworm infestations are very rare but do happen in children in 3rd world countries who are not immunized, have poor immune systems, poor hygiene, poor diet and are already infected with other diseases.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Milbemax for dogs

Diagnosis of hookworm infestation involves the examination of a stool  sample by a vet (for dogs and cats) or doctor (for humans).

Hookworm can be easily treated in humans by getting a prescription from your doctor for worm tablets or getting over the counter worm medications at your pharmacy.

Treatment of hookworms in dogs and cats involves giving them all-wormer tablets such as Milbemax or Fenpral which kill eggs, larvae and adult worms.

Prevention in Dogs and Cats

Prevention in Humans

Proper Hand Hygiene

Hand washing stepsIn areas where there are no hand washing facilities or you  are in a hurry and don’t have time to wash your hands, carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser (preferably alcohol based) or sanitising hand wipes with you. These can be purchased at your local supermarket.