This Woman Wonders Where She, Her Dog and her Family Can Receive Medical Attention for Potential Hookworms
“Where can I get help?” is the first thing this woman writes in her submission, posing the question that many face when they are concerned about parasite-related health concerns. This reader in particular is concerned about a “hookworm” that “came out of [her] dog” which has spread to her and her family members.
“These worms are under my skin” writes this reader in his submission to us about the hair-like worms in the photo below. Our reader believes them to be hookworms and asks for any feedback we can provide as to what the organisms are.
“This one worm with the hook on it came out of his nose, the other one that had 2 in it came out of a sore in my leg,” this reader writes to us. She wonders if we can tell her what these worms are.
There are many wonders and joys to owning a pet, but along with the enormous responsibility they impose, there are unfortunately also a lot of complications that one might have to overcome, such as health problems. One of the health problems that both dogs and cats alike can face are intestinal worms.
It is not uncommon for us to receive submissions from readers who have been on vacation and have come home to discover that they are infested with some kind of parasite. Naturally, we sympathize with any of our readers who have ever experienced something like this, and thus we wanted to write this article in order to give some basic tips to our readers on how to prevent something like this happening to them.
A reader wrote to us in an understandable frenzy because she has white worms (or worm-like things) coming out of her skin. She included the following picture:
We recently heard from a reader about her son. We are pretty sure we have been contacted by this reader before, and perhaps even answered a similar question, but we are happy to clarify. She explained that her son had some itchy pimples on his scalp. Thinking they were boils, she squeezed them. A month later she treated him for worm and the pimples disappeared. She wonders what kind of worm this was.
A reader wrote to us about hookworms, or what are believed to hookworms, afflicting his dog. Having observed the worms, which the reader described as 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch long with rounded (or perhaps “hooked” is the better term) ends, he asked what hookworms look like. We’ll address this specific question, but we’ll also say a few remarks about hookworms in general, just in case some of our readers are not familiar with this common parasitic worm found in dogs (and other mammals, including humans, for that matter).
Symptoms of worm infections are similar regardless of the worm that has infected the cat or kitten. The only way to be 100% sure of the types of worms infecting your animal is to provide a stool sample to your local veterinarian for testing.
If you don’t have your pet screened often, you will have to become familiar with the symptoms of worms. One of the most obvious ways to determine if your dog has worms is to take a quick look at your pets feces. Worms can be seen protruding from your dog’s waste without examining closely.
Even a small number of heartworms can be serious. Signs of heartworm include respiratory stress (difficulty breathing or rapid shallow breathing), gagging or vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
If the infection is allowed to progress, worms can lead to weight loss, anemia, vomiting, and in some cases, even death. Fortunately early worm detection can be as easy as a quick trip to the vet or a two-minute exam that you can perform on your own at home.
When testing for worms, your doctor may ask a series of questions to determine if you are experiencing symptoms related to a parasite infection. These may include diarrhea, fever, coughing, vomiting, mucous in stools, abdominal cramps and gas, loose, foul-smelling stools, loss of appetite, and listlessness.
If left untreated, worms in the human body can cause everything from anemia to rashes to weakness. And according to CNN Health, an adult tapeworm can live up to 20 years and grow up to 50 feet long.