Intestinal worms pose a risk to the health of our pets and ourselves. Knowing how they are transmitted and how to prevent them is key to preventing its spread and the damage they cause. Intestinal worms are parasites that affect not only dogs and cats, also parasitize reptiles, birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, ... All the animals that we have as pets. Some can be transmitted to people with significant health risk, so you should know well how they are transmitted and how to prevent them.
These "bugs" are stuck in the lining of the intestine and feed on the host animal (dog, cat), causing intestinal inflammation that causes chronic diarrhoea (a few days the stools are normal and others have no consistency). The result of this inflammation is inadequate food digestion or incomplete absorption of nutrients resulting from the work did not arrive in sufficient quantity for the blood, causing malnutrition that results in an apparent thinning and bad hair (dry, dull and rough). In the case of puppies, causing an abdominal lump them look "big belly", despite its thinness. Some species of worms feed on blood, which also causes anaemia.
Consequences of the intestinal parasitism:
- Chronic diarrhoea
- Weight Loss
- Poor appearance of the skin and hair
- As puppies, distended abdomen.
We distinguish two types of worms:
1.- Worms flat or tapeworms, which in the view are small flat ribbons.
2.- The worms round they are like "spaghetti" but shorter. Not all look good to the naked eye (the Trichuris are finite).
This classification is very important because their lifestyles are different and not all respond well to these treatments.
Flatworms or tapeworms
Tapeworms need an intermediate host (in which larvae develop) so that it could spread to other animals. For example, Dipylidium is transmitted by fleas. The pet is scratching his mouth, accidentally eats a flea, and from there spreading fires. So when there are fleas on a dog or cat should be treated the two parasites (fleas and intestinal parasites Dipylidium).
Had other, better known it, is what produces the hydatid cyst (Echinococcus), a disease that infects humans and can be the very grave prognosis. The life cycle of this parasite is closed when the dog eats offal of sheep, cows... carry the larval form already in the canine or human body evolve cyst. Years ago, had such an impact in Spain that some regions did eradication campaigns.
To control tapeworms, have to take two types of measures:
1- Avoid intermediate hosts, which contain larvae (control of fleas in the case of Dipylidium or prevent dogs from eating raw viscera in the case of hydatid cyst).
2 - Use worming tablets - like Panacur for Dogs, to kill adult tapeworms.
Roundworms are passed from dogs and cats to others directly when the animal sniffs or licks faeces or anus of parasitized animals. Ascaris (a type of roundworm) can also infect humans. I should say that the risk is the eggs that are microscopic.
How control worms:
1 - Applying correct hygiene and avoiding contact with the faeces (we can step on one in the street or in the field and bring it home) or parasitized animals. If the dog or cat is parasitized eggs can be borne communicable put microscopic worms, or by licking (grooming them for his entire body through the tongue) or cherish them (in their fur can be found eggs that have come there to hair grooming, after licking the anus, or rolling around on land contaminated with eggs that arrived with the feces of another dog or cat). For this reason, it is so important to wash hands thoroughly with soap after playing with our pets.
In the case of institutions (nurseries, kindergartens, etc...) Should apply strict cleanliness and hygiene on the premises where they are.
2 - Manage antiparasitic.
In view of what has been said, the really interesting is not treating the disease when we see our pet expels worms in the stool, because as can be transmitted to people if he was already in our animal, can habenula happen to us. What is reassuring to be able to live with our dog or cat is safe preventive de-worming, i.e. giving medication when there are no parasites so that you never have.
Our pets can have worms without us see them appear in their stool, so it is so important to make a regular analysis of faeces because with this type of analysis can be seen, with the aid of a microscope, the eggs, which have different shapes depending on the type of worm. Thus, we know if the animal is infected or not, and should be, by what species of worm, and instituting more effective treatment.
When we treat animals with parasites, after administering the medication as prescribed, we must make a stool examination to know that the patient has been free of disease. For more info go to Comet Bay Vet Hospital.