Hookworms are small blood sucking parasites that live, feed, and reproduce within the small intestines. Puppies and kittens are most commonly affected; they acquire the infections 1) from an environment contaminated with hookworm larvae, 2) through the placenta (before birth), or 3) through the mother’s milk. Hookworms may be found incidentally on routine fecal exams; your pet may show no obvious signs of a problem. Large burdens of hookworms may cause anemia (due to the large amount of blood ingested by the worms), weight loss, and diarrhea. Pets in a heavily contaminated area may develop skin inflammation on the feet caused by the larvae burrowing into the body through the skin. Treatment of hookworm infections requires environmental clean-up and deworming medication. Environmental decontamination is particularly important to avoid transmission of this parasite to people. Regular deworming practices and testing of your pet’s feces help to ensure that your pet and your family are parasite free.