Not too many of us are aware that parasites may be slowly, but surely putting the lives of our pets at risk, no matter how hard we try to take care of them. Such parasites include the hook worm, which can often endanger the lives of our dogs and cats, even if they may not be as prone to illness as other animals. The name Dipylidium Caninum may not make much sense to you, but the name “hook worm” will – it is a virulent parasite that is capable of shortening a pet’s life if not diagnosed and treated immediately.
The hook worm makes its way through your dog or cat’s intestines through its teeth, and lest you think otherwise, humans are susceptible to these menaces as well! There’s nothing much to these parasites – a head, neck, tail and little else. Hook worms possess only one head and neck, but have several components to their tail.
Hook worms, like a lot of their fellow parasites, breed through the tail, which is definitely the most important of their body parts. Every tail section has the reproductive organs for the hook worm. This pest’s tail would break off at any given time, and would be passed around with its own solid waste – parasite business, in other words. Fleas would then feast on the broken off tail parts, as they lay eggs in the hook worm’s feces and are hence infected as a result.
Your pet would then get infected upon getting bitten by the previously infected fleas. It is also possible for animals to become infested with these parasites by eating the fleas themselves. Ergo, your best option in eliminating hook worms is to eliminate fleas inside your home and in the front and back yard. And to be sure your pet is not at all infected by parasites, take it to your vet as soon as you could. If your pet is infected, your vet will remove hook worms from its system by orally feeding it with a mild antidote.
Hook worms may not seem like very dangerous parasites but their effect upon animals is cumulative. After prolonged periods of infestation, animals will appear emaciated as they will have been deprived of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients by the parasites clinging to their intestinal walls. In time, the immune system will weaken and the animal will become prone to disease. If you do not have your pets treated, hook worms can definitely be fatal to your pets.
It is usually possible to determine if your animal has hook worms by inspecting its stool for the parasites. You can also tell if your pet has hook worms if its feces has a runny quality to it. Do not laugh at the chance of hook worms spreading to humans, because this is a very genuine threat, so you would be best advised to take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as you suspect it has hook worms. Be sure that your pets do not even have the chance of re-infection by annihilating those fleas – as mentioned above, a well known harbinger of hook worms.