What is it?
A disease that pets may pass onto children.
Pets commonly have large parasitic worms living in their intestine which are called roundworms. Humans can be infected by accidentally consuming the eggs which are passed in the faeces. Children are susceptible to round worm because they tend to play in areas such as backyards and sandpits which may be contaminated with dog or cat faeces. The eggs hatch in the digestive tract and the larvae migrate to various organs.
What are the signs of infection in pets?
Most pets will not show any signs of infection.
Pets with extreme worm burdens may show bloated belly, blood or mucus in the stool, diarrhoea loss of appetite and vomiting.
What are the signs of infection in children?
Mild infections may not cause symptoms. More serious infections may cause abdominal pain, poor or ravenous appetite, upset stomach and diarrhoea. Occasionally larvae get trapped in blood vessels behind the eye or in the brain which cause reduced vision or blindness.
How do you treat your pets?
Worming your pets with a good quality all wormer on a regular basis and make sure that your environment is free of pet faeces. Seek advice from your Veterinarian on appropriate treatments.
How do you treat your child?
Seek medical advice as to the best treatment for your child. There are some antiparasitic drugs they may need to be prescribed.
How can you prevent it?
- Worm all dogs and cats in the house regularly.
- Don't allow your pets to lick your child's face.
- Always wash your child's hands after handling your pet.
- Avoid hands in mouths until after the hands are washed.
- Dispose of pet's faeces as soon as possible.
- Cover sandpits to prevent contamination by cats and dogs.