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Hookworm in Puppies

Hookworms can pose a big risk to puppies. Although they are small in size (3mm long), a large number of hookworms can lead to a puppy having severe anaemia, as a result of the worms feeding on its intestines.


There are four main ways that dogs can pick up these small, blood-sucking parasites:

  • Direct contact with the skin, through licking other dogs or grooming themselves
  • Oral ingestion, from digging or sniffing in soil or feaces containing hookworm larvae
  • In utero, passed from their mother via the placenta
  • Through their mother’s milk after birth


Signs that a puppy has a hookworm infection include:

  • Anaemia
  • Pale gums
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Bloody diarrhoea
  • Itchy paws
  • Poor growth

An infected dog will be given medication to eliminate the hookworms. In severe cases of anaemia, dogs may also need a blood transfusion and admission to hospital.


Puppies should be given their first hookworm treatment at two weeks of age and they will then require ongoing medication until they are fully grown. We recommend seeing your regular vet as soon as you get your new puppy, as they will be able to tailor treatment specifically to your dog’s current vaccination status.


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Animal Referral & Emergency network is the largest specialty and referral network in Australia, consisting of over 20 sites. With over 1,200 dedicated team members, including over 600 nurses and over 390 veterinarians (including specialists and registrars), we provide exceptional care for your pets. Count on us for expert medical attention and comprehensive veterinary services.