Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

June Newsletter

Worms (part 2)

This month we are continuing to discuss intestinal parasites. We will spend the next few months answering the question:

Why do you want me to bring in poop?

Answer: We use your pet’s feces to look for parasite ova or eggs. Many times the only way we can diagnose a worm burden is by finding the eggs with a microscope after a special flotation procedure.

Why is this important?

This is important because not only do these parasites affect our family pets, they can also be harmful to people.

There are four main types of internal parasites that we look for in feces. Each month we will focus on one type of parasite. Last month we touched on Roundworms, this month we will discuss

Hookworms.

These parasites are named because their mouthparts hook onto the inner lining of the intestines and suck the host’s (your pet’s) blood. Hookworms are passed through the stool of an infected animal and then can be transmitted by: entering a new host through skin; being ingested (typically by normal grooming); or passed from mother to her young while pregnant or nursing. This is another potentially zoonotic parasite, which means humans can also be infected, usually by walking around barefoot on contaminated soil or sand. The larva may penetrate skin and cause red, inflamed lesions under the skin. This is called cutaneous larval migrans. The best way to prevent this is to have your pet on monthly dewormer, pick up fecal materials in your yard, and do not walk around barefoot in contaminated areas. Hookworms can cause pets to become anemic due to severe blood loss, so clinically they may appear pale and weak if their burden is severe. This is most common in thin and very young dogs.

Stay tuned for Part Three: Tapeworms, coming soon.