Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
Then please tell your vet there are no dogs and cats out there with "millions of hookworms" feeding on the intestinal walls. In an infestation there are not MILLIONS of individuals-- your vet has a tendency to exaggerate I think?
I have seen and treated debilitated hunting dogs mostly for infestations of hook and whip worms in the extreme, a very tough combo but common with penned dogs- especially on soil floors. In that career I saw only one death from hook and whip worms and it was a very old southern hound dog ( he also had heart worms so who knows what really killed 'old blue'). Worms in general are more dangerous to puppies than adult dogs. And even the harmless round worm can kill a weak puppy if in sufficient numbers. I've seen puppies pass scores of round worms (*again, not millions). looks all the world like angel hair pasta only coming out the wrong end!
Hook worms are much smaller of course, and are digested by the dog once killed. In fact, many of the mild treatments for round worm, simply anaesthetize or remove the protective coat of the parasite and they pass out of the body or are digested when in small numbers. It is the eggs, by the way that we see when we test the feces for their presence.
And although hook and whip worms are debilitating in numbers, I find that tape worms produce a long term debilitation easier. especially if the animal is not getting enough to eat or a poor unbalanced diet. Again, disease usually arises from a dynamic and not a cause.
So this all should be no surprise to anyone but I will repeat it-- parasites are not a disease. They are -- well-- parasites. This is a benign or detrimental relationship between host and 'hitch hiker'. A kind of an overly dependent ecosystem that often can lead to a diseased state on the host's part. So a parasite can 'infect' but an 'infestation' is what sets up the dynamic for a likely or potential diseased state on the part of the host. I think on this part we agree. And we also agree that naming the parasite as the disease just ain't accurate. - JR

JR you spend waaaay too much time with dog feces...what the hell is the RIGHT end for angel hair pasta to come out of?