CREEPY CRAWLIES! WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INTESTINAL PARASITES

zo·on·o·sis
a disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals.

GIVES YOU THE SHIVERS RIGHT?! INTESTINAL PARASITES ARE FOUND WITHIN THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT. CONTAMINATION CAN OCCUR FROM DIRT TO WOODPILES TO FECAL MATTER INGESTION. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR PETS FROM THESE PARASITES. REGULAR FECAL EXAMS (AT LEAST YEARLY) AND MONTHLY HEARTWORM PREVENTION YEAR ROUND WILL REDUCE YOUR RISK. HEARTWORM PREVENTIONS ALSO CONTAIN MEDICATIONS THAT CONTROL AND PREVENT RE-INFESTATION OF CERTAIN PARASITES. USING HEARTWORM PREVENTION YEAR ROUND, PRACTICING HANDWASHING, WASHING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WELL AND NOT GOING BAREFOOT, YOU CAN GREATLY DECREASE YOUR PET AND FAMILY’S RISKS OF INFECTION.

 

Common Zoonotic Parasites

  1.  Toxocara Canis    (Roundworm)   Dogs

  •       Puppies <3 months of age are mostly affected——estimated 90-100%
  •   Tran placental or postnatal milk transmission  of ingested eggs
  •  One adult worm can produce >100,000 eggs per day
  •  Remains viable in soil for years
  •  Eggs ingested =larvae attach to small intestine =Migrate to liver and lungs =coughed up or into circulation = Tissues and inflammatory response
  • Puppies develop pot-bellied appearance, Small Intestine Enteritis/vomiting, coughing
  •  Zoonotic  (mostly ~2yr children)—–Ingested eggs  (soil, hands, toys, playgrounds, etc.)

a.  Visceral Larval Migran =iver & lungs
Abdominal pain, fever, Hepatomagely, Respiratory signs, Eosinophilia, Death with invasion of heart or brain

b.      Ocular larval migran =Eyes via circulation
Usually unilateral disease with inflammation & loss of vision do to retinal detachment.
Asymptomatic  (routine eye exam)

c.       Neural Larval migrans =CNS
Death

2.  Toxocara Cati     (Cats)

  •  Ingested eggs, mice, birds, cockroaches and earthworm
  • No Tran placental !
  •  Post natal milk transmission
  • Not as serious in cats as dogs.  Vomit/loose stool
  • Zoonotic

a.  Ocular and visceral larvae migrans in people

3.  Ancylostoma Caninum    (Hookworms)Dogs
Tubaeforme    Cats

  • Most severe in puppies <3 weeks of age =severe Anemia/fatal
  • No Tran placental transmission
  • Larva in mammary glands = milk contamination =nursing puppies
  •  Eggs found damp, sandy soil, sandboxes, & beaches

(crawl spaces, under houses & porches)

  • Zoonotic—skin contact with larva (contaminated soil)=bloodstream =lungs =coughed up & swallowed =small intestine

a.       Cutaneous larva migrans “creeping eruption”—intensely pruritic dermatitis with tortuous tracts of erythema (hand & feet)—self limiting

b.      Eosinophilic Enteritis (acute or chronic)—Recurrent abdominal pain, small bowel thickening, inflamed/ulcerated ilecum & colon.

4.  Bayisacaris      (Raccoon Ascarid)

  •  Raccoons are carriers and shed millions of eggs per day in feces
  • Contaminates woodpiles/decks/rooftops
  •  Larva migrates to internal organs/brain/eyes
  •  Neural larva migrans Þ fatal or severe neurologic disease/Encephalitis
  • Ocular signs similar to Toxocara
  •  Egg size smaller than roundworms 

Common Non-Zoonotic Parasites

  1. Trichuris Vulpis   (Whipworms)
  • Usually adult dogs affected
  • Ingested eggs containing infected larva = larva = Glandular Epithalium of cecum/colon = watery/bloody diarrhea
  • No reasonable, effective means of decontamination of environmental soil (remove topsoil/paving)
  • Most human whipworms are due to Trichuris trichiure but Zoonotic—T. Vulpis infections are occasionally reported.


   2.      Dipylidium Caninum  
(Tapeworm)

  •  Ingested fleas or lice
  • Doesn’t cause many symptoms except proglottids at anal area
  •  Intermittently shed proglottids (fecal negative)
  • Children only develop if swallow fleas


3.    Dipylidium Taenia    (Tapeworm)

  •  From ingested prey    (rabbit, mice, etc.)

Leave a Reply

Font Resize
Contrast