Re: I am concerned whether or not the unaffected dogs will become
infected merely by using the same lawn as the infected animal.
Hookworm larvae are highly resistant to environmental stressors.
They will die if in direct sunlight, but if they are in a lawn, i.e.
at the bottom of blades of grass where it is shady and moist, they
will survive for an extended period of time and serve as a source of
infection for other dogs.
Newborn pups become infected by nursing. The larvae are stored in
somatic tissues of the bitch and travel to the mammary glands once
the pups are born. The pups then are infected when they nurse.
Older dogs can be infected percutaneously - larvae invade the skin
when the dog lies in an area where hookworm larvae are present in the
soil or concrete. In addition, since larvae are stored in the body
tissues, when an anthelmintic is administered, "intestinal immunity"
is lost, and larvae come from the somatic tissues to the gut where a
patent infection is soon established again.
To prevent contamination of soil, check dogs frequently via fecal
exam and worm as necessary. Remove fecal material from kennels,
lawns, yards, etc. daily ( 2 X daily is better) and incinerate or
compost to kill unhatched eggs. Scrubbing concrete pens with soap
and hot water will help remove eggs, larvae, etc.
Hope this helps with your problem.
Annie K. Prestwood
Prestwood.A at calc.vet.uga.edu