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Hookworms live in the small intestine of the cat, attaching themselves to the intestinal wall using teeth like mouth parts (see photo) where they feed on the blood and tissue. There are a number of ways cats can become infected with hookworms and it is important to understand the life cycle of hookworms, which will be explained below.
Via the mother's milk: Again, in dogs it is possible for hookworm infection to be passed to her puppies via the breast milk.
Ingestion: The cat swallows the comes into contact with the larvae food or water infected with hookworm larvae, these larvae move down into the small intestine. Some migrating larvae don't move into the small intestine, instead they encyst in the tissues.
Once in the small intestine the larvae attach to the wall of the small intestine where they feed and mature. Symptoms of hookworms vary depending on the severity of infection and the type of hookworm involved. Hookworms tend to be more prevalent in dogs than they are in cats, and when cats do have them, they are more likely to be in smaller numbers.
Most worming medications come in two forms, either topical which is applied to the skin on the back of the neck, or tablet form. Severely infected kittens may require hospitalisation and blood transfusions to treat anemia. Humans are more commonly affected by pinworms, which are a common type of worm found predominantly in school aged children. Regular worming, every three to six months, or as recommended for the particular brand of worming product you are using.
If you do allow your cat to go to the toilet in your garden, ensure you clean up any feces quickly. If you are planning to breed your female cat, she should be de-wormed two weeks prior to breeding and receive another dose late in pregnancy.
Kittens should be wormed from two weeks of age and then every two weeks until they are 12 weeks old. Adults and children should avoid walking barefoot in areas which have been defecated in by animals. These parasites travel through the food pipe and infect the entire digestive system and other parts of the body. In such cases, very strong medication needs to be administered in order to destroy these parasites.
Once they enter the digestive tract, they attach themselves to the intestines and derive their nourishment from there. Hookworms are a very common parasite found in the intestines of domestic cats and dogs (and in particular, kittens and puppies).
In addition, as very young puppies can get hookworms too, before they are old enough to start heartworm prevention, there are medicines available to sort out the problem when the puppy is as young as two weeks. This magnified image of a hookworm head shows the teeth-like structures which it uses to attach itself to the lining of the intestine.
Hookworms are particularly nasty parasites, around half to three quarters of an inch in length, that have structures in their mouths which work like teeth to latch onto the intestinal walls and unlike roundworms that feed on undigested or partly digested food in the intestinal tract, these nasty little pests feed on your pet’s blood and can cause very unpleasant consequences including anaemia and diarrhoea. As with roundworms, you dog can become infected from soil contaminated with the faeces of infected dogs, except that the larvae have already hatched by the time they are ingested. Untreated, an infection with these worms can lead to death as the dog may have such a burden of larvae in its lungs that it develops pneumonia.
The medicines used will only treat worms and larvae in your dog’s system, they do not have a preventative effect so a checkup every three or four months is needed until the stool tests come back negative. Because of the risk of re-infection of your dog and of other animals and pets, you must always pick up faeces and dispose of them safely. Hookworm is an intestinal parasite and it can be transmitted to humans via soil contaminated by cat or dog feces.


Hookworm prevention booklet distributed to school children by the Mississippi State Board of Health. This blood loss can lead to anaemia, intestinal bleeding, intestinal inflammation, diarrhea and even death.
Depending on conditions, within 2 - 5 days these eggs hatch into larvae (immature worms), which are present in the moist environment of soil, and vegetation.
They migrate into the blood and up into the lungs and trachea, where they are coughed up and swallowed. In dogs, these larvae are re-activated by pregnancy, but it is not sure if the same happens in cats. A stool sample from your cat is mixed with a liquid solution, any eggs present in the feces float to the top. Generally speaking it is recommended that you worm your cat from time to time (once or twice a year) as it is possible to transport worm eggs into the house via our shoes. The infective larvae are found in the soil or sandy areas such as beaches or children's sandpits are able to penetrate the skin and they migrate, causing a red, itchy skin eruption.
It is for information only and is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis, self-treatment, or for the treatment of others nor be a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. Parasites can also enter the body through any cracks or cuts that might be present on the surface of the skin. Fortunately monthly heartworm treatment medications also deal with these worms so if your dog is on Heartgard plus, Iverhart plus or any of the medicines that contain Pyrantel Pamoate this will certainly control the worms but may not eliminate them altogether. Braziliense which normally affects cats and dogs can get under the skin of people and cause a skin desease that is known as cutaneous larval migrans. Young puppies with severe worm burdens do not grow well, look emaciated and have dry, lustreless coats.
The vet may request you to refrigerate a sample of faeces right after your dog ‘performs’ as he needs a sample before the eggs hatch out and, if the weather is warm, this happens pretty quickly. As mentioned earlier in this article, monthly heartworm prevention treatments usually control the problem of hookworms. This is even more vital where children play as children are more likely to become infected than adults. They are commonly found in shaded, moist, or sandy areas, where they are easily picked up by bare feed or buttocks.
When a cat comes into contact with an environment infected with hookworm larvae, it either becomes infected via ingestion of the larvae, or they enter the body by burrowing into the skin. These are collected and viewed under a microscope to determine the type (hookworm, roundworm etc) and number of eggs present. This condition is known as 'Cutaneous Larva Migrans' (also called 'creeping eruption' or 'ground itch'). For example, an illness that may take days or weeks to severely harm or kill an adult can severely hurt a child in a matter of hours. The host then becomes increasingly weak as the parasites continue to extract nourishment from the body. In certain cases, these worms and other parasites can be easily destroyed by medication or certain home remedies. Caninum or the Canine hookworm can cause an infection of the intestinal tract in people, this gives rise to a condition causing stomach pain called ‘eosinophilic enteritis’.
Another method of contamination is if your dog is a hunter and eats another animal, usually a rodent that has hookworms.
Black, sticky or tarry faeces may be passed as when the worm attaches itself to the lining of the intestine, it continues to feed by making an anti-clotting agent in its saliva. Once an infection has been confirmed, he will prescribe treatment which needs to be pretty rigorous as these worms do not let go without a fight! Good hygiene will protect your family and help to protect your pets (and your wallet from unnecessary vet bills).


This worm attaches to the inside of the intestinal wall of animals, where it will feed on the blood of the host and the animals will excrete its eggs on their feces. When the animal becomes pregnant, they migrate to the mammary glands and are passed through the milk. However, there have been many incidents of severe infestation wherein the person’s own life can be threatened by the presence of these parasites. Types Of Worms And Parasites Found In The Human Body Protozoa In protozoa, the entire body of the parasitic organism is comprised of only one cell.
As time passes by, these protozoa increase in number and cause a lot of trouble in the body.
If it moves to another area of intestinal lining to feed, the original area will continue to bleed due to this anti-coagulant and then the blood is passed out in the faeces creating the black and sticky appearance.
Shortly after, the eggs will hatch and the larva can remain on the contaminated soil for several weeks.
A very common sickness caused by the protozoa named plasmodium is malaria, which spreads through the bite of the female anopheles mosquito. Once contracted by humans it will cause itching rashes - also called cutaneous larva migrans, or creeping eruptions. They are transmitted to healthy individuals through mosquito bites or by consuming foodstuff that has been contaminated by these protozoa. In humans, the rash can take the form of a snake-like tract with blisters which is caused by the hookworm larvae traveling under the skin.
Protozoa are highly infectious and gain access to the human body by entering the digestive tract via the person’s mouth.
Giardia is another problem-causing type of protozoa that spreads through contaminated faeces and affects the intestines. In most cases, this worm will not travel to the intestines and will remain beneath the skin. Although, there is a possibility where the hookworm migrates to the human intestine, causing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract - also called eosinophilic enteritis.
Arthropods Arthropods are distinguished by the fact that they do not possess a vertebral column.
An infected cat with hookworm will also have a pale or unhealthy appearance and will show a poor appetite. Your veterinarian will determine if your cat has hookworms by performing an examination of a stool specimen.
Based on your cat's age, weight, and health condition, your Vet will determine the proper treatment.To prevent against such parasites be sure to practice good personal hygiene, deworm your house pets, keep the cat litter clean, and do not allow your kids to play in potentially contaminated environments. Since these hookworms draw nourishment from the host’s blood, weakness and anaemia set in, causing the patient to experience chronic fatigue. If hookworm infestation is left unchecked in children, it can give rise to mental retardation.
Like most parasitic organisms, these pinworms make their way into the digestive tract and gain nourishment from the large intestine. These roundworms dwell in the intestine which is where all the food ingested by the host is acted upon during the process of digestion.
Tapeworms These parasites are very dangerous due to the fact that they can exist in the intestines as well as out of the intestines.



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