Your hookworm-infected dog just happily jumped on you and licked you. Now you’re wondering whether you’ve been infected with hookworms or not.
Unfortunately, there is a possibility you may have been infected with hookworms from your dog.
Hookworms are intestinal parasites that live off their hosts and cause severe damage including internal blood loss (they are bloodsucking worms).
They also cause diarrhea, vomiting, and discomfort as well.
If you’re wondering how the hookworms in your dog can infect you while in the dog’s stomach, here’s a scenario:
- First, your hookworm-infected dog’s feces may have come into direct contact with the dog’s fur while playing or rolling around on the poop which contains the hookworm eggs.
- Maybe your dog licks itself to remove the poop off its leg or body, picking up the roundworm eggs.
- You pass by and in the excitement of seeing its owner, you get a dog lick from your canine friend which then pass eggs from dog to human.
- Red flag! You may now be infected with these worms.
There are many ways that hookworms can infect humans from their dogs and in this article, you’ll discover everything you need to know about hookworms in dogs and how they can infect their owners.
Can Humans Get Hookworms from Dog Saliva?
Yes, humans can get hookworms from their pet dog’s saliva.
The eggs or larvae can be lurking in corners of the dog’s mouth and when you allow them to lick you, you’re allowing a possible hookworm parasites infestation.
How Do I Know if My Dog Has Hookworm?
If you notice that your dog shows symptoms of having hookworms in them such as:
- Pale gums.
- Weight loss.
- Bloody diarrhea.
- Itchy paws.
- Poor growth.
Then, you should quarantine them or arrange to take them or other pets to a vet near you because if you do not take quick action, the parasite will find its way to your body or even be fatal for your poor pup.
A new puppy is especially at risk of becoming seriously sick and should be immediately treated.
How Contagious Is Hookworm from Dog to Human?
Hookworms are zoonotic; meaning they belong to the class of parasites that can spread between animals and humans as well.
Hookworms can easily infect dogs, cats, and other animals too due to their nature of being comfortable on contaminated grounds.
When dogs play in soil or near animal feces containing hookworms, they get infected and the case could be worse if you have young puppies.
Here’s a video showing the serious threat of different species of many parasites and diseases that humans can contract from dogs:
So, when infected, there are several ways the hookworms can transfer from dogs to dog owners.
A dog’s digestive system gets rid of adult hookworms and their eggs by defecating and when they do that, they are contaminating the soil.
If you come in contact with the contaminated soil containing hookworm larvae, they’ll penetrate your skin and carry out their parasitic activities.
If you have kids and you notice that they have hookworm infection, you should go to the hospital immediately because it can result in blindness when in the eyes.
Hookworms are highly contagious from dogs to humans and it is a must that you quarantine or arrange to take infected dogs to see the vet, especially young puppies who are in most danger as they have weak immune systems.
How Likely Is It to Get Hookworms from Your Dog Licking You?
You’ll most likely get hookworms from your dog through licking.
Although it is nice to see this display of affection from your dog, when you notice that it is infected with hookworms or any other worms infesting dogs, you MUST quarantine it.
Because when it starts licking you or your kids, with time, you’ll also have a hookworm infection.
How Do I Know if I Got Worms from My Dog?
Humans can get hookworms from dogs in different ways, but humans can also get this worm walking barefoot in contaminated soil where many hookworms live.
You can get hookworms from your dogs when they lick you.
So, if it is your dog that transferred the hookworms to you, you’ll notice an itchy rash at the point where they penetrated.
It isn’t always the case as you could have been infected somewhere else.
However, if you’re certain that your dog has a hookworm infection and you’ve played with it recently, then it is possible that you got infected by your dog.
Here are some symptoms of hookworms in humans:
- Skin rash on the feet where the larvae entered the body.
- Coughing or wheezing.
- Abdominal pain.
- Loss of appetite.
- Weight loss.
Can I Get Hookworms from My Dog Sleeping in My Bed?
Yes, you can be infected by hookworms from your dog if you let it sleep in your bed.
As it has been mentioned in this article, there are various ways hookworms can be transferred from dogs to humans and with your furry friend in your bed, you’re only increasing the chances of an infection.
So, ensure to keep your dogs far away from your bedroom to avoid contact with hookworms or any other type of intestinal worms.
What Are the Signs of Hookworms in Humans?
If you have been infected by hookworms, here are a couple of evident symptoms that’ll trouble you:
- You’ll experience abdominal pain
- Colic, or cramping and excessive crying in infants
- Severe intestinal cramps
- Constantly feeling nauseous
- High fever
- Lots of blood in your stool
- You’ll have a loss of appetite
- unexplained weight loss
- Itchy rash all over
If you notice these symptoms, it will be in your best interest to book the next available appointment with your doctor.
Can Humans Be Harmed by Hookworms?
Yes, you’ll be at risk health-wise if you have hookworms in your intestines because they are bloodsuckers and when they damage tissues and internal organs in your body, it leads to blood loss and hemorrhaging.
Blood loss will eventually lead to anemia and protein deficiency as well and this will disrupt the overall well-being of that person.
So, when you notice some symptoms of hookworms affecting you or your kids, get to the hospital quickly before it escalates.
Hookworms can be transferred from dogs to humans by licking, as well as other ways.
This article has explicitly talked about the ways you can get hookworms from your dog, precautions you can take, and symptoms as well.
We hope it helps you identify if you have been infected by your dog when the case arises.