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Hookworms!


Guest psdirector
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Guest psdirector

Poor Hutch. This past Sunday his tummy was upset, but by evening he was eating again and seemed great through Tuesday morning. At lunch yesterday, I noticed that his poop seemed runny and that continued throughout the day and evening. He woke me at 5:00 A.M. this morning because he had to go out to vomit. He still had runny poop and I noticed there was some blood in it. He vomited a few more times and ate grass in the yard. Went to the vet (Hutch vomited on their front walk which I take as a political statement) - sure enough, the hookworms I was told he had when he was being trained at the prison are back (and it's been just about 3 weeks since he was treated). So we have a round of Panacur and two subsequent rounds in addition to be given.

 

So far, Tibbs seems fine. His poop is normal, his appetite and energy are fantastic. Should I be worried that he will get them? Neither of the dogs are poop eaters. I've been cleaning up the poop right away, although I read that hookworms don't survive in the below-freezing weather.

 

Can they be passed to humans without walking barefoot through them?

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While hookworms are a zoonotic parasite -passing them to humans without waking through contaminated soil would be considered a few low risk. Just wash your hands thoroughly after handling fecal matter (ie after picking up the poop!)

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Hookworms are tough. Our first boy came home with hooks and it took us months to get rid of them. He still has a sensitive tummy, possibly because he had them for so long. I've even read that hooks can become chronic if the infestation is bad enough because larvae burrow into the muscle tissue and escape the effects of the medicine; just in case, I treat with Heartguard Plus year round because it also kills adult hooks (so does Interceptor but that was off the market for a while). A few things to consider:

 

- We alternated between Panacur and Drontal Plus when we treated Cecil. Someone told us that alternating between two meds was key as the worms develop immunity. Seemed to work - they recommended alternating between Panacur (5 day dose not 3) and Strongid (which I think is for horses), but we used Drontal Plus because our Vet likes it and 5 days of Panacur. I hate medicine and don't like giving it unless absolutely necessary, but I found we had to blast these hooks with a higher dose and more often than typically recommended to get rid of them.

 

- Stool samples may come back negative even though hooks are still present. Apparently hooks can only be detected in the stool at a certain lifecycle stage. If you get a negative result after treatment, I'd recommend going back for another test in a week or two to check again. We had a few negative results and then a positive a month later and I KNOW if wasn't from re-infection.

 

- We're also in Ohio, but we didn't have the benefit of below freezing temps at this time (how often do we think of freezing as a benefit, eh?) We scooped poop religiously and then sprayed the area with bleach after we cleaned it up. Yard looked just fantastic ;)

 

- It took about 31/2 months before we had consecutive negative results and also got rid of the Big D. Part of this was finding a food Cecil could tolerate as well (that's a whole different topic!)

 

Hope this helps - good luck!

 

Oh, and yes, you should be worried your other dog may pick up hooks in the yard. If it doesn't freeze after every poop, I'd take the spray bottle of bleach out there.

Edited by llm51807
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Guest psdirector

Thank you for the advice.

 

How long do they keep vomiting/ having bloody poop? The vet said they usually feel better 48 hours after starting the Panacur. At least he's drinking water. So worried about him!

 

I have been scooping after every time - hoping Mr. Tibbs does not get them, but I'm not optimistic. I will bring a spray bottle of bleach out there. I AM grateful for the below freezing temps at night. Never thought I'd say that!

 

Of course, Tibbs would be really worked up today and wanting to run all over. He doesn't really get why Hutch isn't running with him, but he's being gentle with him, nuzzling his face from time to time. I heard Hutch growl today for the first time when his brother laid down on him while he was asleep - then when he realized it was Tibbs he was ok.

 

I hate seeing him so sick.

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Guest psdirector

One other question about the bleach - do you water it down or rinse it off? Will it keep the dogs from pooping/ peeing in the yard? Definitely not the response I want because they are so well housebroken at this point.

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One other question about the bleach - do you water it down or rinse it off? Will it keep the dogs from pooping/ peeing in the yard? Definitely not the response I want because they are so well housebroken at this point.

Bleach sounds rather extreme--the freezing weather will work. Just clean up after them immediately.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest psdirector

Hutch is doing better, although I think that the hooks have left his tummy a lot more sensitive than Tibbs'. The other evening something was bothering Tibbs' tummy - loud gurgles from across the room, although he didn't seem to be bothered by them. Within a half an hour he was fine. Hutch started with the tummy rumblings and it escalated until he was asking to go out in the yard to eat grass and seemed very agitated. I kept him in the family room for the night and slept on the sofa near him so that I could let him outside quickly when he needed to. He was ok by morning.

 

The only other thing I can say about Hutch's digestive system is that his gas is absolutely horrible. He and Tibbs are getting the Iams green bag and Tibbs is fine - great, normal poos, no gas. Hutch still has soft poos, but no blood, thank goodness!

 

I'm supposed to give Hutch the next round of Panacur on April 17 and I have one more round to give him three weeks after that. I sure hope that does the trick.

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