Helminthiasis in dogs: types and prevention of infection
There are many myths surrounding helminth infections (simply, worms). However, helminths are not chickenpox. What is helminthiasis, how does infection occur, how is it dangerous and how to avoid adversity? Let's try to figure it out.
What is helminthiasis in a dog?
Helminthiasis is a disease caused by helminths (parasitic worms). A person, an animal, and even a plant can get sick.
Zooatropogelmintoses are helminthiases that can hurt both in humans and animals.
Helminths go through several stages of the life path and at the same time change their "owners" (that is, the organisms through which they feed and live). There is a permanent host - a sexually mature helminth lives in it, there is an intermediate host - where the helminth develops at the larval stage, and there is still an additional - the second intermediate host. In addition to the need to "inhabit" different hosts, helminths need a certain state of the environment (temperature, humidity) and the incubation time during which the egg or larva ripens.
As a rule, a person becomes infected by contact with the habitat of animals. But sometimes it is possible to infect helminth eggs directly from dog hair.
Most helminthiases occur in dogs chronically, sometimes asymptomatically, which complicates the diagnosis.
There are helminth infections that people can get from dogs.
The causative agent is the tape helminth of Echinococcus granulosus. An adult worm parasitizes in the small intestine of dogs, but the larva can live in humans. Dogs become infected by swallowing food or water with eggs or segments of parasites. Also, infection occurs when the organs of other animals infected with echinococcotic vesicles are eaten. The massive spread of the disease is associated with a lack of sanitary standards in the production of meat. A person can become infected both by direct contact with an infected dog, and by eating fruits and vegetables contaminated with eggs of this helminth.
Symptoms in dogs: emaciation, constipation, diarrhea, perversion and loss of appetite.
As for people, echinococcosis can cause mental and physical development retardation, lower the body's resistance, and disrupt working capacity.
Symptoms depend on the location of the helminths (most often the liver and lungs are affected). Pain, anemia, ascites, enlarged liver, yellowness, cough with sputum, shortness of breath, even blindness and paralysis of the limbs may be observed. In children, the disease is particularly severe. With complications associated with the ingestion of fluid from the echinococcosis bladder (with a rupture), anaphylactic shock can occur.
Treatment involves taking medications prescribed by your doctor.
Immunity is unstable, re-infection is possible.
The causative agent is the tape helminth of Alveococcus multilocaris. Parasitizes in the small intestines of dogs. In the larval stage, it can dwell in humans.
Eggs are very stable in the environment - they can survive under the snow. A person becomes infected by swallowing eggs. Helminth in the human body develops for several years. Dogs become infected by eating infected rodents.
As a rule, shepherds, hunting and sled dogs become a source of infection for people. Infection occurs through unwashed hands in direct contact with a dog whose coat of helminth eggs is contaminated. You can also get infected if you eat wild berries or drink water from a reservoir in the habitat of wolves, arctic foxes or foxes.
Most often, the liver is affected, but metastases in the brain, spleen, kidneys, lungs and lymph nodes are possible. By the nature of development and the ability to give metastases, alveococcosis is compared with a malignant tumor.
A protracted process may be incompatible with the patient's life.
Immunity is unstable, but repeated invasions are not described.
The causative agent is the tape helminth of Dipylidium caninum. Both dogs and people get sick. This helminth lives in the small intestine.
Intermediate hosts can be canine and human fleas and canine lice. A dog can become infected at any time of the year.
The treatment of dogs is complex: the administration of anthelmintic drugs is supplemented by the destruction of lice-eaters and fleas, disinsection of animal habitats.
If we talk about a person, then mostly young children (up to 8 years old) suffer. Infection is possible by accidentally swallowing fleas or through flea bites.
Symptoms in humans: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, salivation, diarrhea, allergic reactions, perianal itching, dizziness, increased fatigue, blanching of the mucous membranes and skin, weight loss, anemia.
The causative agent is Toxocara canis nematodes, which are parasitic in dogs.
These helminths live in the small intestine, sometimes in the pancreas and in the bile ducts of the liver. Some larvae migrate to other organs (kidneys, muscles, lungs, liver, and others), but they do not develop there.
Eggs are resistant to adverse environmental conditions, perfectly preserved in the soil. Dogs can become infected by hunting rodents.
A person, as a rule, becomes infected through unwashed hands, in direct contact with dogs, in which worm eggs can be found on the face, on wool and in saliva. Children become infected by playing in sand contaminated with animal feces.
Symptoms in dogs: perversion of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, exhaustion, pallor of the mucous membranes. If the larva migrates through the lungs, pneumonia can develop.
Symptoms in humans depend on the lesion. If it is lungs, pneumonia, cyanosis, shortness of breath, persistent dry cough are observed. If the liver is affected, then it enlarges and hardens, while the pain may not be very strong, rashes on the skin, anemia are possible. If the nervous system is affected, paralysis, paresis, epileptiform seizures can be observed.
In humans, these helminths live only at the stage of the larva, so it cannot infect others.
The causative agent is the nematodes of the family Filariidae.
As a rule, they parasitize in the right ventricle of the heart or in the cavity of the pulmonary artery, however, they can (with severe invasion) “populate” other arteries, vena cava, and the right atrium. They are also found in the subcutaneous tissue of dogs, in the brain, eyes, abdominal cavity, and spinal cord.
Infection is possible through mosquito bites. There are cases of infection through the bites of fleas, lice, horseflies or ticks. The risk group includes gardeners, hunters, fishermen, tourists, fish farm workers, animal owners, as well as people living near marshes, lakes and rivers.
Symptoms in humans: weight loss, weakness, fatigue, allergies. Dry cough, wheezing in the lungs, shortness of breath, skin cyanosis, fever may occur. A complication may be kidney or liver failure.
Helminth infection prevention
First of all, it is necessary to observe basic hygiene rules: wash your hands after talking with the dog, treat the dog with drugs for the prevention of helminth infections on time. Carefully monitor the cleanliness of hands in children.
Raw fish should not be abused - it often contains tapeworm eggs. Only heat treatment destroys them.
Lovers of kebabs and steaks should also be careful: helminth eggs often live in poorly cooked and raw meat.
Thoroughly wash wild berries, as well as fruits and vegetables, especially exotic ones. Preferably bottled water. Extremely carefully walk barefoot on the beach - nematodes can ambush them in the sand.
Wet clean the nursery at least twice a week. At the same time, soft toys are vacuum cleaned, plastic toys are washed in soapy water.
If preventative measures of confidence do not inspire or prove insufficient, consult a doctor who will select the appropriate drug for helminths. You can "drink" it twice a year.