Dog tapeworm: when to worry and how the infection occurs. Transmission of tapeworms from dogs to humans or cats. Treatment and what to do.
Note: the veterinarian's opinion is always important to understand "which worm / tapeworm it is" in order to understand the possible implications for the health of humans as well as of your four-legged friend.
When we talk about zoonoses, most of them are transmitted throughinfected fecal materialand thetapeworm in dogsis no exception. Theretapewormit is a very common vermicosis that can strikedogs and cats.
The tapeworm is a parasite that produces a good number of eggs in the intestine of the dog or cat. These eggs are then "distributed "in the external environment through the feces and need several days toto matureand also become contagious for humans.
First question: Can the dog infect humans?
Yes. Tapeworms are parasites that can pass from dogs or cats to humans. This parasite is among the most common zoonoses.
If you stop to think about how thetapewormyou will notice a certain similarity with nature. Just as some seeds are eaten by birds or ruminants and excreted with the feces in other "areas to be colonized", thetapewormit tries to spread like this. The only big difference is that the tapeworm is a parasite and the host organism pays the costs.
Dog tapeworm infection is caused by various nematodes (worms) Echinococcus granulosus, Echinococcus multilocularis and the more common and harmless Dipylidium caninum (commonly known as dog tapeworm).
Tapeworms such as Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis can cause cysts to form in various organs (called echinococcosis). These cysts can be a serious problem for humans.
Tapeworm in humans: hydatidosis and cysticercosis
Thecontagion to humansoccurs by ingestion following a contamination. In practice, humans introduce tapeworm eggs through food, which can cause diseases such ashydatidosis and cysticercosis.
The tapeworm can not only use humans as a host organism but if thedog has wormscan hepass them onalso to other pets such as thecat, hamster, guinea pigs or other herbivores.
How does the infection happen?
Yes, by ingestion ... but the variables are many. If you have a vegetable garden and the dog has done his business near your harvest, perhaps you have not washed the vegetables well enough, they may have become contaminated with tapeworm eggs which, once ingested, can cause infection.
How to avoid contagion?
First, if yoursdog has tapewormit is important to perform a treatment withspecific wormers. For this it is essential to consult the veterinarian.
How to tell if your dog has tapeworms?By simply doing a laboratory test, a stool analysis is enough to identify the eggs. Again, talk to your vet about it.
To avoid theinfectionIt is advisable to always eliminate the dog's faeces, just made (the eggs take a few days to become contagious), both at home and in the garden.
It is advisable to take care of personal hygiene and disinfect the dog's toys and potentially contaminated material.
Never eat with dirty hands, or put food in your mouth without having properly washed it.
How does the dog get tapeworms?
If you take the dog to the park, one cannot be ruled outdog-dog infection. For example, a dog defecates in the garden, your dog -who is a bungler-he begins to lick the dew from the contaminated grass and thus ingests the tapeworm eggs.
Another hypothesis: if you live in rural areas, wild animals may have defecated near the food bowl or in areas where your dog feels safe ... the dog, by licking the contaminated bowl, may have contracted the tapeworm.
Othersvermicosisyou generally calldog tapeworm, they can pass from one dog to another due to intermediate vectors such as the flea.
In the case of Echinococcus tapeworms, the dog or cat can become vectors and can become infected by eating already infected rodents.
Dog tapeworm symptoms
Symptoms in dogs greatly depend on the extent of the infection. THEsymptomsmost common are:
- Weight loss
- Increased appetite
- Diseases and problems related to the malabsorption of nutrients
- Vomiting (rare)
Symptoms in humans
Even in the case of humans, the symptoms may vary according to the type of infection. Between symptomsfound in case of cysts:
- Abdominal pain and jaundice (if tapeworm cysts form in the liver).
- Hives and allergic reaction (even fatal, only in special cases)
- Chest pain, coughing up blood or fragments of cysts if these form in the lungs.
If you suspect you have contracted thedog tapeworm, it is advisable to do an ultrasound or magnetic resonance. They are also very practicalblood analysisto detect the presence of antibodies produced in response to the parasite.