Can Dogs Get Tapeworms From Cats
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If youre a multiple species pet kind of household, you know that keeping everyone happy and healthy can resemble a bit from a comedy sitcom. The cat wont leave the dog alone. The dog ate the cats food. The cat keeps attacking the dog. The dog keeps chasing the cat. The dog got into the cats litter box again
On top of the general nuisances cats and dogs like to cause to each other, pet owners may also be concerned about pets spreading diseases or parasites across species. One of the most common and annoying of these parasites are tapeworms. Tapeworms infect your cat and take up residence in their intestines, robbing the host of vital nutrients. We know that cats can contract tapeworms, but can these pesky vermin be passed along to your dog?
Is There Anything Else That I Should Do
Flea control is the cornerstone of the management and prevention of tapeworm infection. Flea control products are convenient to use. Depending on the type of product you use and the presence of other pets in your home, you may also need to treat your house and yard for fleas . With some of the newer products, environmental flea control may not be needed. Circumstances vary however, so be sure to talk to your veterinarian.
“Flea control is the cornerstone of preventing tapeworm infection.”
If the cat lives in a flea-infested environment, tapeworm infection can become re-established within a few weeks. This is very rarely due to treatment failure in most cases, reappearance of tapeworm segments represents a re-infection of the cat. Additional recommendations include:
1. Promptly have your cat treated when tapeworms are detected.
2. Remove and dispose of all pet feces properly, especially in public parks, yards, or playgrounds.
3. Teach and practice strict hygiene practices for children after playing outdoors.
Other Diseases You Can Get From Your Dogs
If you’ve been asking yourself Can humans get worms from dogs?, you’ve probably also been wondering about other diseases and parasites that you may be able to contract from your pet, how to prevent and deal with them. It’s an important question.
We love our dogs, but they aren’t the most hygienic animal.
What this means is that there are numerous diseases you need to be mindful of if you’re a dog owner. Not only can humans get worms, they can contract rabies, Lyme disease and other common ailments from their pets.
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How Your Cat Can Get Worms
There are several ways that your cat can get worms, including:
- If your cat goes outside, one of the following: worms, worm eggs, or fleas carrying worm eggs can get caught on your cat’s coat. The cat can then ingest the eggs while grooming themselves or grooming other cats, says Travis Arndt, DVM, Medical Director at the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America.
- Kittens often get infected through breast milk when their mothers have a dormant case of worms, says Nichols.& nbsp
- “Some worms are also found in muscle tissue of infected animals, so cats who hunt or are fed raw meat products can ingest worms through their diet,” McNabb says.
How To Prevent Worms In Cats
Worm infestations in cats and transmission to children and adults can be prevented through good hygiene practices and the year-round use of heartworm, intestinal worm, and parasite prevention.
For indoor cats, cleaning the litter box on a daily basis, as well as changing out the litter and scrubbing the litter box on a regular basis is vital for minimizing exposure to contaminated feces.
For outdoor cats, regularly scooping feces from the yard, sandbox, and flower beds will minimize the potential for propagation of the parasite life cycle.
Featured Image: Shutterstock/Sakolnap
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What Do Roundworms Look Like
Roundworms may be seen in vomit or stool, particularly after worming. They are light in color and look like spaghetti. Roundworms can be up to several inches long.
How Do Dogs Get Roundworms?
There are a few different ways a dog or puppy can get roundworms.
From Their Mother
The larvae are introduced to the developing puppy right in the mother’s uterusvia migration through the placenta.
Less commonly, roundworm larvae can be transferred to the nursing puppy from the mother’s milk.
When the puppies who were infected in utero are born, the larvae make their way to the intestinal tract, where they grow into adults that are around 5 inches in length.
From Their Environment
Female roundworms can produce up to 85,000 eggs in just one day. These eggs are protected by a hard shell, which enables them to exist in soil for years. The eggs that adult roundworms pass in the stool can reinfest the animal or other dogs when eaten.
After ingestion, the microscopic larvae come out of the eggs and migrate to the animal’s lungs, where they are coughed up, swallowed, and grow up to be adults in the small intestine.
From Wild Animals
Dogs can also contract roundworms by eating prey animals that have larvae in their tissues.
Are Roundworms Dangerous to Dogs?
If not treated in time, a severe infestation can cause death by intestinal blockage or other means.
What Are the Signs of Roundworms in Dogs?
How to Get Rid of Roundworms
Monthly dewormers are used to kill roundworms in dogs.
You Can Prevent Worm And Parasite Exposure By:
- Buying your raw pet diet from a reliable source. Make sure it is human grade quality.
- Not feeding your pet infected animal parts, such as sheep placentas and stillborn calves, or animal guts .
- Freezing your raw meat for 24 hours to three days before feeding it to your pet to kill off any possible parasites. For wild game, you may want to freeze the meat for up to a month.
- Exercise caution when handling raw meat, and dont leave it sitting in your pets bowl for too long a period of time.
Your pets digestive tract is actually better able to deal with any exposure to a parasite or worm than your digestive tract. In fact, parasites and worms dont typically like a healthy host, so as long as your pet has a healthy immune system, you dont need to worry about them. If you are concerned that they might have worms or a parasite, you can take a stool sample to your vet or have them take a blood sample. This will determine if your pet needs medicine or holistic de-worming.
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How Is Tapeworms Different In Dogs And Cats
There are some differences in tapeworm infection and prevention between cats and dogs. In cats, medication to treat a tapeworm infection can also be administered topically, which means on the skin. This hasnt quite been developed yet for your pooch. Tapeworms may also have a greater impact on cats given their generally lower body weight when compared to dogs.
How Do I Protect My Pet And Myself From Infection
Routine deworming is the easiest and least expensive way to prevent your pet from developing a sustained parasitic infection. In addition, you should keep your dog away from community or high-traffic dog areas, such as sandboxes, walking paths, and dog parks, if possible. Good personal hygiene, such as washing your hands before eating and not walking barefoot outside, are good preventive measures for people.
Its not fun to think about your petor you or a family membersuffering with intestinal parasites. This basic information should help arm you against these unwelcome visitors to your pet and in your home, and, fortunately, preventive treatment is inexpensive and easy. If you suspect your pet may be infected, act quickly and seek veterinary attention. We can help safeguard you and your pet against parasites and the infections they cause, so call our hospital and make an appointment if you have concerns.
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What Are Roundworms And Why Should I Care
What are they?
Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite in dogs and cats. The adult worms are round and range in size from less than two inches to almost 6 inches in length. According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, a survey conducted in 1996 using samples collected from across the United States found that more than 30% of dogs younger than 6 months of age were shedding roundworm eggs and other studies have shown that virtually all pups are born infected. Other surveys have found more than 25% of cats infected.
How does my pet get roundworms?
Because the larval stages of the worms migrate inside the animal, some of the worms become encysted and lie dormant in the host animals organs. When the female becomes pregnant, those hidden parasites can become active, mature, and be passed to the puppies or kittens across the placenta before they are ever even born. Sometimes the worms pass into the mothers milk so the young ones are exposed again when they are nursing. Cats and dogs can also become infected by licking and/or eating grass and dirt and other soiled items that contain infective eggs or by eating prey animals that have already been infected.
What disease does it cause in my dog or cat?
Can my pet give the worms to me?
What diseases do roundworms cause in people?
How is a roundworm infection treated?
In pets, there are many products that are safe and effective in treating roundworm infections.
Can Toxocariasis Be Prevented
To help protect your kids from exposure to the eggs or larvae that cause toxocariasis:
- Take your pets to the veterinarian to be dewormed, especially puppies younger than 6 months old.
- Clean and disinfect your pet’s living area often and wash your hands well after.
- Everyone in the family should wash their hands well after playing with pets or other animals, after playing outside, and before touching or eating food.
- Teach young children not to put dirty hands in their mouth and not to eat dirt or soil.
- Keep kids away from areas with pet and animal poop.
- If you have a sandbox, keep pets away from it and cover it when it’s not in use.
- Wash, peel, or cook all fruits and vegetables before eating them.
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How Do I Know If My Dog Has Worms
Coughing, diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy are the general signs the dog has worms. Other symptoms depend on the type of worm. For example, if your dog has a tapeworm, clear identifiers can be rapid weight loss or what appears to be grains of rice in their stool.
Heres how to tell if your dog has worms based on each of the major parasites:
- Tapeworms: Rice or spaghetti-like worms in feces and scooting its bottom on the ground
- Roundworms: Vomiting
- Whipworms: Diarrhea and weight loss
- Hookworms: Pale gums
Even if you pay close attention to the moods and actions of your pet, sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your dog has worms. But if you want to give your vet an idea of what is happening with your pet, these are some of the primary symptoms to watch for.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Tapeworms
Vomiting up pieces of worm that is still alive is a good indicator, of course. Other signs your cat might be suffering from a tapeworm infestation include unexplained weight loss, though the most common sign your cat is infested with tapeworms are the proglottids. You’re likely to see those rice-sized, egg-filled tapeworm segments in either your cat’s feces or crawling near her anus. You might witness your cat “scooting” across the floor if the segment is irritating her skin, but this behavior is much more common in dogs.
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Spaghetti And Rice: What You Need To Know About Worms
One of the most common complaints that owners have to both veterinarians and emergency vets is my pet has worms!! Most often the owners will either note actual worms in their pets feces or just that their pet has started to have diarrhea. There are several different types of worms that can affect your pet, and some of these can also affect you or your children. It is important to keep your pet on a deworming schedule and monthly preventative.
How Do Cats Get Worms
Cats most commonly contract worms after coming into contact with parasite eggs or infected feces.
A cat may walk through an area with eggs or infected feces, and since cats are often such fastidious groomers, they will then ingest the eggs or fecal particles as they clean their fur and feet.
This can occur in indoor cats as easily as it can in outdoor cats, particularly if multiple cats share a litter box that is contaminated with infected feces.
Cats that live outdoors and regularly hunt small rodents are also at a higher risk of contracting worms because the worms can live in the muscle tissues of their prey.
After eating a rodent thats infected with worm larvae, a cat can develop a worm infestation as those larvae develop to maturity in the cats intestines.
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Is It Possible For My Cat To Catch Worms If It Stays Inside
It is, as you probably think, much less likely that your cat will catch worms if it stays inside your home. This is why we advise you to keep cats inside your home to them safe .
That said, you may wonder How did my indoor cat get worms?
It only takes a little mouse that sneaks into your house, the visiting dog that brings in fleas, or your tomcat that runs away between your paws, for it to become at-risk.
Can Kids Get Worms From Dogs
Children are more susceptible to worms from dogs than adults. There are reasons for this. First, children tend to put their hands in their mouths more often than adults. If they had their hands in the feces-infested soil, they could easily pick up worms from a dog.
Kids also love getting kisses from the family dog. As you now know, it can be sweet to get a lick or two from your pet, but it can also transfer worm eggs quickly.
Children also tend to have less-refined hygiene skills than adults. They dont wash their hands as much and are eager to touch anything and everything in sight. If your dog has worms or has had them in the past, you need to be aware of how your child interacts with him.
Dont let them go barefoot in the backyard or play in any dirt where your dog may have gone to the bathroom. If they do, make sure they immediately wash their hands and feet.
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Medical Treatments For Worms
We’ve answered the question can humans get worms from dogs and I’ve given you some home remedies to fight worms. If you prefer traditional medicine, there are some treatments for worms in humans that are very effective.
The most common form of treatment for a worm infestation in humans is to prescribe a anthelmintic. This is a drug that either causes the body to expel the parasites, or kill them.
Recovery from a worm infestation is surprisingly almost immediate with most courses of medication rendering the patient parasite free within a matter of days.
While its always best to head to your doctor, some medications are available to purchase from your local pharmacy. However, you would need to have a very clear idea of what youre suffering from.
If your dog has been diagnosed with a specific parasite, for example, bringing along a note from your veterinarian will help your pharmacist to accurately suggest a treatment, if available. Not only can humans get worms, they can be extremely dangerous to our bodies. It’s best to seek treatment as soon as possible.
What Happens If I Contract Worms From A Dog
It is important to be aware of what types of worm can be transmitted from dogs to humans. Symptoms of worms in people vary depending on the type of worm but may involve parts of the body such as the eye, skin or internal organs. If you are concerned about any symptoms that develop its always best to visit your doctor.
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Can You See Worms What Do Worms Look Like
Look at the photo on the right. You may find roundworms in a dogs stool or vomit, particularly after worming.
Its rare to see entire tapeworms, but they shed body segments that contain their eggs. Segments of tapeworms will look like a piece of rice in your dogs poop or around the anus.
Hookworms and whipworms are seldom seen in a dogs stool, which is precisely why a stool sample is required.
To reveal the presence of roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, a veterinarian needs to use a microscope to look for their tiny eggs in a specially prepared sample of feces.
Answers To Your Questions About Parasites To Keep You And Your Pets Healthy
Q: I have several dogs and cats I want to give them the best of care but the cost of products to control fleas and ticks as well as internal parasites and heartworms is more than my budget will cover. Are there products that are OK to use in both dogs and cats?A: Cats and dogs are very different in their ability to handle chemicals. In fact some chemicals commonly used in dogs are potentially very dangerous in cats. Never use dog product in cats,
Q: Can I buy the larger sizes of products and divide them among my pets?A: Dividing doses is not recommended.While this may seem logical in some cases the reality is these products are somewhat dose sensitive based on the weight of the patient.
Some manufacturers have stated that the distribution of chemical through their product may not be uniform and so one pet might receive too much and another not enough.
Q: We took home a new puppy recently and when we took her to the vet a few weeks later we found she had whipworms and hookworms. The puppy had pooped in several areas of the yard and I understand the eggs of these worms are probably in the dirt. Is there any way I can kill these worm eggs?A: Unfortunately some worm eggs are pretty resistant to environmental changes and can persist for long periods in the soil. There are some precautions that can be taken in small areas to destroy the eggs. Unfortunately they damage or destroy the lawn and landscaping in the immediate area.
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