Chart: 6 zoonoses you should know -- Roundworm infection
Common disease name
(Roundworms are large [3- to 18-cm], worms that are usually tightly coiled when passed and look like spaghetti.)
Dogs: Toxocara canis (zoonotic), Toxascaris leonina (not zoonotic), Baylisascaris procyonis (zoonotic)
Cats: Toxocara cati, Toxascaris leonina
Method of infection
Puppies and kittens: Transplacental, ingestion of eggs in feces
Adult dogs and cats: Ingestion of tissues of intermediate host (e.g. rodents), ingestion of eggs in feces
People: Ingestion of larvated eggs (fecal-infected soil), ocular or visceral larva migrans (Toxocara canis)
Puppies and kittens: May present with ill thrift, failure to gain weight, poor hair coat, pot-bellied appearance; pups with heavy infections may expel a large mass of worms in the vomitus at 4 to 6 months old
Adult dogs and cats: Vomiting
People: Pneumonia-like symptoms and skin staining from damage to internal organs (visceral larva migrans) and irritated retinas from damage to the eyes (ocular larva migrans)
Dogs: Fenbendazole, milbemycin oxime, pyrantel pamoate, and combinations of febantel and pyrantel and praziquantel
Cats: Selamectin, emodepside/praziquantel, combinations of pyrantel and febantel
People most at risk
Most common in children
- Deworm puppies and kittens when they are 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks of age, and give them monthly preventives as soon as the label recommendations allow.
- Promptly remove animal feces from the yard and litter box.
- Keep dogs on leashes or in fenced yards and cats indoors to help prevent ingestion of infected animals or feces.
- Monitor children playing outside in sandboxes and parks.
- Prevent transplacental transfer in dogs by treating bitches before and after whelping.