Yes, dog worms and cat worms can and often do infect humans. As loving pet owners, we share our homes, our hearts, and even our beds with our furry friends. Unfortunately, dogs and cats can infect humans with roundworms, also known as ascarids, and hookworms through a process known as Zoonotic transmission.
What is Zoonotic Transmission and How Does Infection Occur?
Zoonosis, also known as zoonotic disease, is the transmission of an infectious disease from an animal to a human. One of the most common types of infection is that of roundworms and hookworms. Because we enjoy such a close bond with our dogs and cats, we are more susceptible to transmission.
Ascarid infection in humans comes from ingesting infective worm eggs, which hatch out larvae inside our bodies. Hookworm infection can happen two ways: from larvae ingestion or from burrowing through the skin. Also, infection can come about by direct contact with contaminated soil or other infected area. Once the larvae hatch or are ingested inside the body they can move around freely, infecting and damaging different organs.
Related Health Hazards
If an infection of roundworms or hookworms occurs, there are many associated health hazards. As the worm larvae move around in your body (referred to as migration), they infect and cause damage to various organs. Some of the organs targeted by roundworms and hookworms are the brain, lungs, eyes, and liver. Once infected with dog worms or cat worms, these organs sustain permanent damaged resulting in tissue, visual or neurologic conditions.
Symptoms of Dog Worms and Cat Worms
• Loss of appetite or weight
• Puppies may develop a pot belly
• A dull coat
An Ounce of Prevention
It is possible to prevent roundworm and hookworm infection by taking precautionary measures. Things to do include:
• Worm your dog or cat to rid them of these intestinal parasites. This can be tricky and potentially harmful for your pet so you should consider your options carefully. There are several products on the market which promise to flush out these intestinal parasites. What they do not tell you is that they contain pesticides, which can damage your pet’s internal organs and cause a variety of health problems such as cancer, seizures, internal bleeding, vomiting, and diarrhea to name a few.
Once this damage has occurred, it is permanent and may result in your dog or cat having a shorter life. As a responsible pet owner, you must decide whether or not you want to put these toxins in your pet’s body. Pesticides can be just as bad if not worse than the worm infection. Wouldn’t you rather turn to a more natural way of ridding your pet of these parasites?
• An alternative to products containing pesticides is an herbal, organic, all-natural worm remedy called FourGuard, which is a parasite de-worming formula proven safe and effective for cats and dogs (and humans).
• Clean up your pet feces promptly and dispose of them to prevent mass environmental spreading of infective eggs. One female ascarid (capable of producing more than 100,000 eggs per day) can contaminate the entire area your pet uses to roam, play, or sleep. To get a more accurate picture of potential contamination, multiply 100,000 eggs times a handful of female ascarids. You quickly have the potential for millions of infective eggs all around your pet and yourself.
• Practice good personal hygiene by consistently and thoroughly washing your hands and taking regular baths to reduce the possibility of becoming infected.
• Keep your children’s sandboxes covered. Do not allow them to play in any that are not covered. If left uncovered, your cat may mistake the sandbox for a giant litter box.
Roundworms and hookworms are dangerous for both pets and humans, with the potential for causing permanent, life endangering conditions. It is important to give your pets proper treatment to rid them of these intestinal parasites. Treatment for dog worms and cat worms will greatly reduce your risk of infection. I urge you to make a decision. Treat your pet with the most humane, natural dog worm and cat worm remedy available.