The symptoms of a hookworm infestation in dogs vary tremendously - from no clinical symptoms at all (especially in chronic hookworm infections - more common in older dogs) to one or more of the following symptoms - bloody diarrhea, anemia (blood loss), weight loss and general listlessness and weakness.
Dog hookworms are parasites and they parasitize the intestinal tract of the dogs.
They attach to the lining of the intestines and suck blood and body fluids from the dog, and they thus compete directly with the dog for its resources.
It is this interference with the dogs digestive system that leads to the clinical symptoms that one sees with a heavy hookworm infection.
Dog hookworms also present a health challenge to humans as the hookworm larvae found in the soil can migrate through the skin of people, causing an itchy, red "tunnel" under the skin known as cutaneus larval migrans - a rather uncomfortable condition even if it is not life threatening! As with all dog worms, a hookworm problem in a dog is unlikely to disappear simply by deworming the affected dog(s).
One needs to understand the worm's life cycle and all the possible routes of infestation before one can put together a simple yet sensible strategy that will minimize the health impact of dog hookworms on your dog and your family! Dog hookworms can represent a significant risk to the health of your dog, particularly when it is young, so make sure you take steps to ensure that your dog and family remain hook worm free.