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HOOKWORMS IN DOGS

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IF YOUR DOG SUFFERS FROM HOOKWORMS - TRY MY SOLUTION

This article is not going to address all the things about hookworms you can read on Wikipedia. This article is going to focus on how to treat dogs with hookworms using the safest and most effective means.

Additionally, you will learn what the big kennels use for treating hookworms in dogs and puppies.

If your dog has worms (and most dogs do or will) you will want your vet to identify the exact kind of worms your dog has.

HOOKWORMS ARE HARD TO ERADICATE FROM THE ENVIRONMENT

This article is going to focus primarily on how to treat for hookworms. If your dog has hookworms, there are extra steps you will have to employ, that are not often needed with other common types of worms. I've dealt with hookworms in my kennel and will share my experience with you.
Hookworms can be very hard to eradicate because of a contaminated environment.


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KILLING HOOKWORMS ISN'T THE PROBLEM

First, let me start by saying; hookworms that are in your dog's digestive track are easy to kill with the proper treatment. The bad part is; many hookworms are not in a dog's digestive track and these hookworms are very hard if not impossible in some cases to treat or kill.

To effectively rid hookworms in dogs and puppies you have to first understand the hookworm life cycle. I'm not going to go into too much detail as you can and should read more on hookworms in Wikipedia and other sources. What I will do, is tell you enough so you can understand how to effectively treat your dog.




HOOKWORMS HAVE THREE STAGES YOU NEED TO BE CONCERNED WITH

Hookworms have three basic stages; eggs, larvae, adult. Adult hookworms will lay eggs while in your dog's digestive tract that are passed in the dog's stool. The eggs can lie dormant in the soil for many months. Eventually, the eggs hatch into larvae. All three; adults, eggs, and larvae are capable of infecting your dog.


THE EGGS

Adult female hookworms can produce 30,000 eggs a day! Over a lifetime, they can produce some 50,000,000 eggs. These eggs passed in your dog's stool, can lay in the environment for many months. As your dog is out taking a stroll in the park, he ends up getting some eggs on his paw and when he licks his paw he swallows the eggs and they can hatch in his stomach.



THE LARVAE

Under the right conditions, the eggs hatch into Larvae. The larvae wait on the ground and attach themselves to your dog as he walks by.

The hookworm larvae penetrate the skin and then migrate through the tissue into the heart and then into the bloodstream where they make there way to the lungs and finally into the trachea where they are coughed up and swallowed.

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Once the hookworms enter the dog's intestines, they mature into adults. So, you can treat your dog with a de-wormer and kill all the hookworms in a dog's gut, but if the environment (your yard) is contaminated with hookworm eggs and larvae, you are going to continue to experience re-infection.



HOOKWORM LARVAE CAN LIE DORMANT IN YOUR DOG FOR YEARS

Another way that hookworms infect dogs is that some of the larvae that penetrate the skin, migrates to muscle tissue and becomes dormant. Therefore, you can have a dog that has never left the house and has never had worms of any kind, all of the sudden have hookworms.

This is quite common with a nursing female. The hookworm larvae lies dormant in the dog's muscle tissue until hormonal changes triggers the hookworm larvae to start migrating. That is why it is very common for puppies to have worms even though the mother had been treated for hookworms prior to breeding.
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SCHEDULE FOR DE-WORMING PUPPIES

Hookworms pose a huge risk to puppies as they can completely overwhelm a puppy and cause death. It is estimated that over 90% of puppies are born with worms. Therefore, it is important to begin worming puppies for hookworms and other worms early.

Start deworiming puppies at 2 weeks. Most breeders de-worm puppies at 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 18 weeks and then every other month after that.



AN OUTBREAK OF HOOKWORMS CAN BE TOUGH TO ERADICATE

Some years ago, while yet a novice dog owner, I received two new puppies. I noted that they had a cough. The vet said it was kennel cough and prescribed treatment. A week later, they were still coughing. I took them to another vet, he indicated the same thing as the first. Took them to a third vet, who indicated they had hookworms.

As mentioned earlier, the hookworm larvae migrate to the lungs and trachea and irritate the dog's throat causing them to cough up the larvae, which then are swallowed into the stomach. So if your dog develops a cough, be on the lookout for hookworms!
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HOOKWORMS CAN BE DIFFICULT TO DIAGNOSE

Here is why the first two vets did not properly diagnose that my puppies had hookworms. The way to tell if a dog has hookworms, is by examining the stool for eggs. The larvae do not produce eggs. It takes anywhere from five to nine weeks for the larvae to reach the small intestines and mature into adults. The adults mate and then finally eggs are shed into the stool. A good vet should be aware of this process and should warn you to be on the lookout.


PUPPIES MUST BE DE-WORMED EVERY 2 WEEKS

Once you administer a de-wormer, the hookworms that have reached the intestinal tract are killed. Yet, hookworm larvae that is still in the muscle tissue or lungs (have not reached the gut) is unaffected by the de-wormer. Hookworm larvae will continue to migrate and find their way to the gut, and for this reason, the de-worming is done every two weeks for the first few months to kill the larvae that have reached the stomach and importantly before the hookworms mature enough to start laying eggs.


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HOOKWORM TREATMENT STARTS BY TREATING THE ENVIRONMENT

Once you have an outbreak, you have to figure (if you were not on top of it) that your yard has been contaminated and must be treated to kill the eggs and larvae.

Hookworms are very hardy and hookworm eggs can survive for many months and perhaps years in certain soil conditions. This is especially true in warmer climates.

HOW I TREATED MY YARD

Thankfully, because my kennel is all cement and pea-gravel, I could spray the entire area numerous times with chlorine to kill any hookworm larvae or eggs. I also made sure all the dogs were thoroughly bathed with a chlorine mix to kill any hookworm larvae or eggs.

Additionally, in the dog's common play area, wherever they went potty, I sprayed the area with a chlorine water mix to kill any hookworm eggs that may have been shed in the stool. In fact, this is something I have continued to do as routine, just in case, even though I have not experienced any other issues.



CHLORINE WILL KILL YOUR GRASS
If your dog is outside always or even occasionally, the area the dog is pinned or tied, has to be saturated with chlorine, in order to kill any larvae or eggs that could re-infect your dog after treatment. Remember, in certain soil conditions, the eggs may be lying in the soil and a light surface spraying of chlorine is likely to have no effect. Chlorine is also very corrosive, so you want to avoid spraying on anything metal, such as fencing. If the area is grassy, the chlorine is going to kill the grass.


DIATOMACEOUS EARTH!!!!
Understandably, many are not going to be able to spray chlorine all over their yards. In this case, you will want to use DIATOMACEOUS EARTH. DIATOMACEOUS EARTH is a Silica rock that has been processed into a very fine powder. This powder, is actually like very sharp glass. When it gets on any small parasite, it cuts them to pieces killing them. What is interesting is that it is actually safe to eat. And it is sold all over the world as a remedy for intestinal parasites.

Many people use it in their homes to kill any small crawling, hopping, flying, parasite; Bed Bugs included. It is cheap and works incredible. You will note it is available in "food grade" as well as non food grade. For your yard, I would go to a farm or tractor supply type of store, where you will find it in 40 lbs bags for cheap.

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USE FENBENDAZOLE FOR HOOKWORM TREATMENT

Although there are a number of different treatments effective for treating hookworms, I use FENBENDAZOLE which is the active ingredient in both Safe-Guard Canine De-wormer and Panacur-C Canine De-wormer

Fenbendazole, is an highly effective hookworm treatment, as well as, for most any intestinal parasite. However, it does not work on Tapeworms. Nor will it work on Heartworms.

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Most kennels prefer Fenbendazole for hookworm treatment over other treatments because of it's prolong history of safe use even with pregnant dogs. Nothing has proven to be safer or more reliable than Fenbendazole for killing hookworms.


HERE IS HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON HOOKWORM TREATMENT

Although Fenbendazole comes conveniently prepackaged as either Panacure or Safe-Guard with individual doses hookworm treatment for dogs, most kennels buy Fenbendazole for livestock as it is much cheaper. I have included links to both products. For the average person with one or two dogs the convenience of prepackaged hookworm treatments that can simply be sprinkled on dog food is the best way to go; although more expensive.

If you are treating a number of dogs or puppies, you will want to go with Safe-Guard 10% suspension for livestock. Be aware that the dosage for dogs is much higher than the dosage on label for livestock.
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CORRECT DOSAGE

Fenbendazole needs to be administered at 1 mg per 5 lbs of dog weight for THREE STRAIGHT DAYS. So, a 50 lb dog would receive a 10 mg dose for three straight days.

I use a 20cc Syringe (WITHOUT NEEDLE OF COURSE) to measure the dose of de-wormer and shoot the de-wormer directly into the dog and or puppy's mouth. For an adult dog, I straddle the dog while they are sitting or standing. I pull the head back and pry open their mouth with one hand. I Then insert the Syringe all the way to the back of the mouth and squirt quickly. I then hold their mouth closed for a few seconds.

I use either a MonoJect Syringe 1cc or 3 ml Syringes with Blunt Tip Fill Needles, 100 pack for measuring the de-wormer dosage for the puppies (I buy the 3 cc syringes with needles, because I use these to administer vaccines). DO NOT USE WITH NEEDLES!


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