Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Don't Say I Didn't Worm You

Wilbur. Has. Worms.

Not even cute little earthworms that you can put in a farm or go fishing with. He has hookworms. Here's some advice, if your pet ever gets diagnosed with hookworm, don't look it up on Google image search. Because this image will haunt your dreams:

Even thought they are tiny tiny, I picture them to be roughly six foot tall with blood dripping from their fangs.

I took Wilbur for his 2 year checkup like a good doggy mom. I got all the recommended vaccines. The vet ooh'd and ahh'd and went on and on about he is so fit, especially for a beagle (who tend to get overweight easily) how beautiful his coat is, etc. She recommended that I start him on HeartGuard and Frontline to prevent fleas and worms and other fun things. The grand total of the vet bill was $370, ouch. But whatever it takes to keep my puppy healthy. Then I got a call a day later, saying that his stool sample came back positive for hookworm and that I needed to pick up medication for him.

When I went to pick up the meds, the receptionist was actually kind of bitchy and blunt, like "you're a bad dog mom, you let you dog get hookworm". Here's what I don't understand, if HeartGuard prevents this, then why oh why did they not suggest that I put him on it at his 1 year checkup? Maybe this is something I should know, but I have never owned a dog before and I think its my vets responsibility to keep me educated about this stuff. That's why I have a vet.

Now I'm about to get sort of graphic.  When I brought Wilbur to the vet, I took him to a little grassy area to see if he had to go to the bathroom. I wasn't expecting anything because I took him out before we left the house. But of course he took a massive dump. And I didn't have a plastic bag and there was no garbage can in sight. So I left it. I know I know . . . judge me. I NEVER leave it, and this was an isolated event. I made sure that no one saw my crime and I went into the vet's office. Of course, they asked me for a stool sample, which of course, I forgot to bring in. So I said, "I'll take him out now, maybe he'll go." And I slyly went over to the poo he had left ten minutes ago and put it into the little bag they gave me. So essentially, I cleared myself of guilt.

Wilbur, wanting to get the F out of the vet's office

So, do you think its possible, that in the ten minutes the poo was laying there by its lonesome, some homeless hookworms could have come in and made themselves at home? I'm guessing this is pretty doubtful, just wondering. Because I don't let my dog eat other dog's poo and he has no symptoms of ill-health.

The zinger of this whole ordeal is that hookworms are contagious to humans. And I have definitely walked barefoot in my back yard (they can burrow into your feet, climb up the veins in your legs and make themselves at home in your internal organs, fun I know). So far, no symptoms and I'm not taking any chances. Although, when my husband so RUDELY asked if I would pack him a lunch for work, I told him I would go in the backyard and make him a hookworm sandwich :)


  1. oh no! hope he gets better fast! vet bills are killer, my pups gotta go on friday for regular bloodwork, it better not cost a fortune.

  2. I worked for a vet for 5 years, and worms in pups are pretty darn common. And you're right, it is weird that your vet didn't recommend Heartgard at your last checkup... -especially- for dogs that go outside and, duh, what dog doesn't?? It's pretty much a standard protection for any dog we saw come through. :) Plus, they seem to enjoy the chewy monthly treat!

  3. I'm glad to hear its common, I felt so horrible when I found out, like I'm a bad mom, ha. Well at least he's on the heart guard now and it hopefully won't happen again. Thanks!