If I am not mistaken, the way they check for hookworms is to find eggs in the stool. The thing is, hookworms (unless I am mixing them up with another type of worm) well I think it is hookworms that do not shed eggs all the time. Hooks attach to the intestine and generally cause blood loss. But, because they do not always shed eggs, they can be missed in a stool sample. In fact, my vet said you really need to have several negative tests to rule out hooks. I am wondering if your vet felt he should have wormed the dog with a wide spectrum wormer as a first step in treating something that could have very well been worms.
Of course, I could be mixing up my worms, could be whips that act that way.
If this is true about hooks, and it is also true about false negatives on giardia, then don't be too disappointed in your vet. Vets have to treat critters who can't talk to them, and they have to try and do it economically for the most part. Some go the extra mile (and expense) to diagnose completely before treatment. Others do some economical tests to rule stuff out, within reason, and then treat what a thing is most likely to be, and use the response to the meds and symptoms to determine whether they got it right or not. Both methods are used in veterinary practices and have merit.
For example, in the case of hookworms, the vet that adds up the symptoms and determines that 85% of the cases will have some type of worm, that will be managed by XYZ wormer, even if it did not show up in the stool, will worm the dog, and take care of the problem.
The vet that wants to know what he is treating before treating it, will test the stool and run bloodwork, and if the hooks weren't shedding eggs today, they may not treat, but they won't give wormer to a dog when the dog is not suffering from a worm load.
I hope this is the whole of what is going on with your dog. It will be really great to start to see the pounds go back on him.
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Last edited by selzer; 01-11-2014 at 12:54 AM.