Young dogs and cats are affected more severely, since they are less able to cope with depleted iron reserves.
Clinical signs may be one or more of the following:
There are many de-wormers available over-the-counter but they contain medications that are designed to "flush out" the parasite. But as the name implies, Hookworms hook onto the intestinal wall and "do not come off without a fight". Many pets experience mild to severe distress because of these de-wormers. These de-wormers were used by veterinarians decades ago, but veterinary medicine has come a long way since then.
Today, many anthelmintics are effective against hookworms in both dogs and cats. An aggressive treatment and prevention program as defined by your veterinarian normally entails two initial treatments 2 weeks apart (killing the hatched eggs and before they can hatch again and reproduce administering a second dose), plus an aggressive preventive program. Since the medication can only kill what's in the system monthly checkups for 3-4 months are needed until a pattern of negative tests results are established. Because of the life-cycle of the hookworm, monthly combo preventative can help control but not usually eliminate the problem.
Also, it is extremely important to thoroughly clean and disinfect the affected areas. If this is not feasible walk your pet in a different area and if possible away from where other pets go. ALWAYS, pick up after your pet goes to the bathroom to minimize the chance of reinfection.
The most important aspect of hookworms is that they could pose a health hazard to humans. Especially if you have children, it is imperative to keep on top of the situation and have your pet regularly tested. In humans, hookworms causes cutaneous larval migrans. The parasite can penetrate human skin and cause a linear, tortous, erythematous, and pruritic dermatitis (kids are more susceptible). Therefore, if you own a pet good hygiene, prevention and management of stool area should be #1 on your list.