Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Uncinaria stenocephala

Synonym(s): U. stenocephala, Hookworm

Contributor(s): Stephen Barr, Maggie Fisher, Peter Irwin

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Superfamily: Strongyloidea.
  • Genus: Uncinaria.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Adults in small intestine, particularly third quarter.
  • Eggs and L3 in environment.

Lifecycle

  • See lifecycle diagram Lifecycle Uncinaria stenocephala - diagram :
    • Adult
    • Egg.
    • 3rd stage larva.

Transmission

  • Feco-oral, with egg passed in feces developing to infective L3 that is ingested.
  • Percutaneous infection not very successful.
  • Young, weaned puppies become infected for the first time by overwintered larvae when put into grass runs (sometimes concrete) in the spring or through the summer.
  • Eggs from these pups develop in the summer so peak levels of infection are seen in the puppies and young dogs in the second half of the summer/autumn.

Pathological effects

  • Protective immunity is evident in older dogs in infected kennels by lower levels of intestinal infection.
  • Hypersensitivity reaction to migrating larvae in skin induces dermatitis in older, previously sensitized dogs.
  • Villous atrophy and inflammatory foci at points of plug feeding in villous/crypt area.
  • Adults move during feeding.
  • Protein losing gastroenteropathy inducing diarrhea, ill thrift with increased albumen turnover in young dogs.
  • Eosinophilic, hypersensitivity reaction to L3 penetrating the skin in older, immune animals inducing dermatitis and pruritus.
  • Not as pathogenic as Ancylostoma caninum, as it does not ingest as much blood.

Other Host Effects

  • Adult worms are plug feeders on mucosa of intestine.

Control

Control via animal

  • Anthelmintic treatment.
  • Remove dogs from grass runs.
  • All young animals in the same environment will be passing eggs, with lower levels of infection in the older animals.
  • Reinfection and/or development of hypobiotic larvae may require additional treatments.

Control via chemotherapies

Either Mebendazole Mebendazole.
Or Fenbendazole Fenbendazole.
Or Febantel/pyrantel Pyrantel embonate /praziquantel Praziquantel.
Or Pyrantel Pyrantel embonate.
Or Nitroscanate Nitroscanate.
Or Piperazine Piperazine - effective against adults only.
Or Milbemycin Milbemycin oxime.
Or Moxidectin Moxidectin

Control via environment

  • Do not use grass runs.
  • Concrete runs must be well-drained and without cracks in which moisture and larvae can accumulate.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMedResource and PubMed.
  • Bowman D D (1992) Hookworm parasites of dogs and cats. Comp Cont Educ Pract Vet 14, 585-594 (Review).
  • Walker M J & Jacobs D E (1985) Pathophysiology of Uncinaria stenocephala infections of dogs. Vet Ann 25, 263-27 (Pathophysiology).
  • Walker M J & Jacobs D E (1982) Epidemiology of Uncinaria stenocephala infections in greyhound breeding kennels. Vet Parasitol 10, 317-321.

Other sources of information

  • Brownian D D (1999) Nematodes. In: Georgis' Parasitology for Veterinarians. 2nd end. Ed. D D Bowman. Philedelphia, PA: W B Saunders Co. pp 178-184.

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