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Parasites are a common problem in dogs. They can become infected with roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and heartworms. Worms are nematodes and create a vicious cycle of reproduction, reintroduction and subsequent infection. Hookworm larvae can live inside of a host -- your dog -- for several weeks until maturity. Your dog will shed the parasites in his feces. Canine hookworms will lay more eggs, which perpetuates the cycle.

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1. What are hookworms?

Hookworms (Ancylostoma braziliense, Ancylostoma caninum, and Uncinaria stenocephala) are named due to the parasite’s hook-like structure. The nematode’s mouth literally “hooks” itself to a dog’s intestinal tract or skin. Intestinal hookworms feed on the dog’s blood. Dogs of any age or breed can become infected with hookworms.

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