Uncinaria stenocephala is a nematode that parasitizes dogs, cats, and foxes as well as humans. It is rare to find in cats in the United States. The common name is the northern hookworm of dogs.
The host ingests an infective third stage larva. The larva matures to the adult in the small intestine. Eggs are laid in the small intestine and pass out with the feces. The prepatent period is about 15 to 17 days. The eggs hatch in the soil and the larvae molt twice to reach the infective third-stage.
Adult worms may live for 4 to 24 months in the small intestine. Dog and cat hookworms range in size from 10 to 20 mm by 0.4 to 0.5 mm and the eggs are 71 to 93 μm by 35 to 58 µm.
Adult parasites are most often found in their hosts' small intestine.
- Eggs are found in fecal flotation.
- Eggs measure 75 um long by 45 um wide.
Common Diagnostic Test
- Fecal float to recover eggs.
- All hookworms suck blood, they are capable of removing 0.1mls of blood per worm, per 24 hour period.
- Light infections are asymptomatic.
- Infected pups may present with pale mucus membranes and anemia, ill thrift, failure to gain weight, poor hair coat, dehydration, and dark, tarry diarrhea (melena). Puppies harboring many worms will develop an acute normocytic, normochromic anemia followed by hypochromic, microcytic anemia due to iron deficiency. Without immediate intervention, these animals may die of the infection. Those that survive may continue as "poor doers" with chronic anemia.