Hookworms again. $%&?@ hookworms. Those buggers do an enormous amount of damage.

This is actually a huge relief to me. Hookworms are serious, but curable. Inflammatory bowel disease is forever. IBD now looks unlikely. Hurrah.

Tala had whipworms and hookworms when we first brought her home in January. It's possible that the deworming was incomplete: a negative test is only 70% accurate. It's also likely that our yard is contaminated. Apparently if that is the case, it's nearly impossible to decontaminate.

The doc is putting both dogs on a very aggressive deworming schedule, and Tala can begin to transition back to a regular diet. Hurrah hurrah.

Folks who are (or might be) bringing your dogs here, I will be in touch with the risk-benefit analysis.

My interview with Steven Fletcher - the one I was supposed to do in Ottawa - is tomorrow, so I'd better go prepare.

Thanks for all the support, you all.


CanuckNurse said...

That's fantastic news. Glad to hear it!!

James said...

Parasites are nasty, but as you say, at least they're treatable! Though very tenacious.

We just got a seasonal worm/flea treatment for Cobalt, and we'll be applying that tonight.

M@ said...

Excellent! Not that it was hookworms, but that it was something definite and treatable.

If you wouldn't mind at some point telling us about the whole decontamination thing (is the stool that is contaminated, or is it a parasite that lives in the environment?) I would be interested...

L-girl said...

Ok, that's cool, I'll do this on-blog instead of by email. :)

James, which monthly treatment are you giving Cobalt? Some protect against whips and hooks, some do not.

If you use Revolution, you get the heartworm and tick/flea in one go - but no whip/hook protection.

Our vet here had put us on Revolution, but we are now switching back to what we used to do in NYC - Interceptor (orally) for heartworm, Advantage or Frontline for fleas/ ticks/ whips/ hooks.


Here's the deal with the contaminated yard.

The hookworms eggs are in the stool. The stool goes on the grass, and unless you clean up 100% of every poop, the eggs go into the soil. Dog eats grass (which Tala definitely did), dog eats hook eggs, hooks lay eggs in dog's gut.

Once the dog has hookworms, the eggs are shed in the stool, and the chances of scooping up every hookworm egg is miniscule. Although you can reduce the chance of infestation by picking up as much as possible.

[What timing for us. For nearly 20 years our dogs were apartment dwellers and we cleaned up 100% of every poop from the sidewalk. Now we have a backyard, we've become a bit lazier. We clean it all up eventually, but sometimes 4 or 5 piles at once - we don't immediately run out and get it - and if we miss one, big deal. Well, not anymore...]

If you use a parasite treatment that protects against hooks & whips and if you watch your dog closely and he/she doesn't eat grass from an infected yard, you're probably safe. (Like birth control, no protection is 100%.)

But if your parasite treatment doesn't include hooks/whips, and/or if your dog is a grass eater, the doc says "there is a tiny but real risk" of your dog picking up hookworms here.

Obviously it's your decision, but that's what you can weigh.

If James and Lori are coming over with Cobalt and we're all hanging out watching the dogs play, it's probably fine. But in a party situation, like if M@ brings Scout and Bean to wmtc2, it's harder to keep an eye on them all the time. It also depends on what parasite prep you use.

That's what I would have said in the email! Now I will really get to work.

James said...

James, which monthly treatment are you giving Cobalt? Some protect against whips and hooks, some do not.

I don't recall the name. We haven't started with it -- Lori says we aren't supposed to start until June 1. We'll talk to our vet.

L-girl said...

hooks lay eggs in dog's gut

That should read: eggs hatch in dog's gut.

Where they attach themselves and gradually kill your dog!

David Cho said...

Good news even though you have work ahead of yuo.

I gotta ask you about dog food even all the scares recently. Noah's been getting Kibbles and Bits, but I know it isn't very healthy and I am thinking of changing his diet, but to what is I don't know.

L-girl said...

Hey David, yeah, this poisoned dog-food thing was really scary. You know the company is right here in my town? Big local news.

In general dog food that you can buy in the supermarket is not very nutritious. Stores like PetCo or PetSmart (whatever is near you) have a good selection.

There's raging debates over what's best. You could ask your vet for a recommendation, or if you want to get thoroughly confused, check out some internet discussions about it. (They're insane.)

We use Eukanuba. We've used several types of their food, at different stages for different reasons. A lot of the all-natural brands are supposed to be very good. M@ recently mentioned to me that his dogs have done really well with Nutro.

Hill's makes all the prescription foods that are only sold through the vet's office. (Excellent food for dealing with various conditions, like allergies or sensitive stomachs.) Their pet store brand is Science Diet. Some people think it's great. Others hate it. But all the brands are like that.

But in general, if you switch from a supermarket brand like Kibbles N Bits to a higher quality brand like Eukanuba, Nutro or Science Diet, you're improving your dog's nutrition. That can be a lot more important as they get older.

Also, you probably know this, but don't switch foods all at once. Make a gradual transition, mixing some of the new food in, then going 50-50, then gradually moving the mix to all new food. It should take about a week to 10 days to make the full transition.

M@ said...

Eukanuba was another one we tried, back when Scout was young. Initially she loved it, but soon she began turning up her nose at it. Nutro was just the right combination of "dogs like it" and "good for them". Still trying to find the right kibble for myself...

By the way, my mother gave me a small bag of Hill's food (whatever the pet brand is) that her dog refused to eat. They're reasonably big pieces, and somehow we convinced our idiot dogs that they're dog treats. Hah! Outsmarted the beagles!

L-girl said...

Outsmarted the beagles!

Tough one, that. ;-)

M@ said...

Tough one, that. ;-)

:) I'm often surprised, and dismayed, at how tough it is.

James said...

Cobalt's on Science Diet and liking it fine, though sometimes we have to sprinkle half a liver treat over the food to get her attention.

The cats used to be on Science Diet, but more recently have moved to Waltham's because the vet likes their weight control mix better.