Causes Of Worms In Adults And Children, Adolescents, Cats And Dogs, Symptoms And Treatment

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Causes Of Worms In Adults And Children, Adolescents, Cats And Dogs, Symptoms And Treatment
Causes Of Worms In Adults And Children, Adolescents, Cats And Dogs, Symptoms And Treatment
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  • How can you get infected with worms
  • Dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Nervous system disorders and general malaise
  • Allergic reactions and skin manifestations
  • Decreased immunity and, as a result, the development of infectious diseases
  • Ways and causes of infection in adults
  • Causes of the appearance and ways of infection in a child

    What factors increase the risk of infection with helminths

  • How to find out if a child has worms
  • How to remove worms from a child
  • Causes of worms in adolescents
  • The most common types of worms in cats and routes of infection
  • Causes of worms in cats
  • Signs of worms in dogs and puppies
  • You can defeat parasites!

Helminthiases are a group of diseases provoked by the multiplication of parasite worms in the human body. There are more than 100 species of worms capable of parasitizing in humans.

In this article, we will look at the main causes of worms in humans and animals.

What to do in such a situation? To get started, we recommend reading this article. This article details the methods of dealing with parasites. We also recommend contacting a specialist. Read the article >>>

The most common pathogens of helminthiasis:

pinworms (enterobiasis) - small parasites that multiply in the rectum

Pinworm larvae
Pinworm larvae

roundworms (ascariasis) - round white worms, reaching a length of 20 cm

Ascaris worms
Ascaris worms

tapeworms (dwarf, wide, bovine, pork) - reaching a length of several meters, tapeworms in humans cause symptoms of severe damage to the intestines and other organs and systems

Dwarf tapeworm
Dwarf tapeworm

Dwarf tapeworm

cysticercus - able to migrate with blood from any organ, even the brain

How can you get infected with worms

Parasites can be acquired in various ways. In this case, the worms are carried by the larvae, which are almost invisible to the naked eye.

The main methods of infection:

  • lack of hygiene skills - dirty hands, work on the ground;
  • eating food contaminated with helminths - unwashed fruits and food that the husbands sat on, as well as insufficiently thermally processed meat and fish (barbecue, steak with blood, smoked foods, sushi, etc.);
  • drinking unboiled water contaminated with worm eggs;
  • contact with animals that are natural reservoirs for worms - cats and dogs, wild animals (hunting, fishing, working on fur farms);
  • contact with a patient with helminthiasis - handshake, through bedding, doorknobs, etc.

One of the most striking symptoms and signs of worms in humans is a sharp weight loss, pallor of the skin (anemia), a haggard look, and itching in the anus. But these are only the most obvious and popular signs, known to everyone, that occur with a massive infection.

However, there are a lot of other symptoms that a person perceives as a manifestation of other diseases and, turning to a doctor, often heals them unsuccessfully, without knowing the indirect cause of their occurrence or exacerbation.

Dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract

If helminths are localized in the intestine, and not in the tissues and organs of the body, then the main signs of the presence of worms in a person are disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, such as persistent diarrhea, chronic constipation, nausea or periodic vomiting, abdominal pain, especially near the navel, pain in right hypochondrium, flatulence (bloating).

These symptoms of the presence of worms in a person can be both mild and more intense and prolonged, it depends on the massiveness of the infection or reinvasion (self-infection).


Some types of worms in the process of growth secrete hormone-like substances that cause diarrhea, and with massive growth of large worms, they can partially block the intestines, causing constipation.

Nervous system disorders and general malaise

In the course of their vital activity, the worms emit a mass of toxic substances, and the stronger the infection, the more intense the symptoms of intoxication of the body, the negative effect on the nervous system of children and adults.

This is manifested by a headache, dizziness combined with nausea - in these cases, a person can perceive it as a migraine and treat it with pain medications (see migraine, symptoms, treatment, and also triptans for migraine). Also, there may be joint pain, body temperature rise to subfebrile numbers or even fever.

Also, the lack of vitamins and nutrients that a person loses due to helminthiasis, in combination with the suppression of the nervous system, lead to the development of chronic fatigue syndrome, constant drowsiness and fatigue, anemia appears, children may become more capricious, irritable, their sleep is disturbed, can have insomnia, screaming at night, nightmares, due to absent-mindedness and inattention, children may lag behind in their studies.

Allergic reactions and skin manifestations

With worms, a person's skin condition worsens. The products of life of worms desensitize the body and cause proteins similar to them to be perceived as allergens, which is manifested by skin reactions. Skin rashes are the result of the release of histamine from mast cells and the accumulation of a liquid part of the blood in the tissue with a partial lifting of the epidermis.

For the same reasons, various allergic reactions can occur, both local - urticaria, itching of the skin, and general - allergic rhinitis, dry cough, bronchial asthma. In a person infected with worms, a symptom may be flaking nails, brittle hair and nails, cracked heels.

Allergic reaction
Allergic reaction

Allergic reaction

Decreased immunity and, as a result, the development of infectious diseases

Such a toxic effect, as well as the deprivation of a person of some nutrients, vitamins and minerals, leads to a significant decrease in the host's immunity. This can be manifested either by an exacerbation of existing chronic diseases, or various inflammatory processes in the nasopharynx begin - sinusitis, sinusitis, stomatitis (stomatitis in children, stomatitis in adults), even girls and women may develop various inflammatory processes in the genitals - vulvovaginitis, bacterial vaginosis (discharge with the smell of fish), even inflammation of the uterine appendages in girls is considered possible due to prolonged helminthic invasion of pinworms. (see pinworms in children, symptoms).

Ways and causes of infection in adults

The causes of human worm infection are very diverse, the path of infection directly depends on the type of worms and their life cycle, it can be:

  • eating dirty vegetables;
  • non-compliance with hygiene rules when preparing food;
  • weak heat treatment of some food products, especially animal and fish meat;
  • communication with pets - cats, dogs, some types of rodents;
  • non-observance of hygiene rules before eating, after visiting the bathroom, upon returning from a walk;
  • swimming in contaminated water bodies.

In the course of their life, worms produce toxic substances that are absorbed into the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, harming the most important organs and systems.

Causes of the appearance and ways of infection in a child

In fact, there are several ways for worms to enter the child's body. This type of parasitic disease has one peculiarity.

As a rule, these parasites feel great in a child's, still developing organism, therefore, mainly preschool institutions and lower grades of secondary schools are infected.

A child can get infected in several ways. For example:

  • Against the background of non-compliance with hygiene requirements.
  • As a result of a weakened immune system.
  • Because of the still fragile organism.
  • Due to a decrease in the level of acidity in the stomach.
  • Thanks to active knowledge of the world: they can taste any object, they can pet a homeless animal.
  • As a result of playing on the street, especially in the sandbox, where these parasites can live, thanks to the vital activity of cats and dogs.

Infection routes:

  • Through unwashed hands.
  • As a result of using a shared toilet in childcare facilities.
  • As a result of taking various objects into the mouth on the street.
  • As a result of eating unwashed fruits, vegetables and berries.
  • As a result of swimming in a river or lake, when dirty water gets into the mouth.

The methods of infection with worms depend on the characteristics of their development cycle. For some groups of helminths, a person is the main "host" in whose body they live and reproduce, for others - an intermediate link.

How is infection with worms
How is infection with worms

In some cases, parasites need the maturation of eggs in the soil or under other conditions. But the main rule of protection against infection is hygiene, a condition that is not always met in childhood.

Childhood is a period when stable immunity has not yet been formed, which significantly increases the likelihood of infection with parasitosis.

The desire to taste everything, multiple contacts with soil, sand, any objects increase the likelihood of helminth eggs entering the child's body.

The most common helminths - pinworms and roundworms - are carried on unwashed hands, can remain on household items (door handles), and get inside the body with food (poorly washed berries, herbs, vegetables). There is also the possibility of spreading helminths when they come into contact with an infected person or animal or exist in close proximity to them.

Pinworms are one of the helminths that provoke re-invasion: itching that female pinworms cause during the process of laying eggs outside the anus makes the patient touch, rub, scratch the irritated surface and spread the eggs of parasites on the underwear, bedding, clothes, objects, surfaces.

With repeated swallowing of eggs that remain on the hands or bed, reinfection occurs, self-infection of the patient. In this case, the primary infection of children most often occurs in child care facilities, on playgrounds, in places of mass gathering of babies.

What factors increase the risk of infection with helminths

  • Non-compliance with hand hygiene: skipping hand washing after returning from the street, from guests, from the toilet, before any meal.
  • The habit of biting nails, sucking fingers, holding various objects in your mouth (pencils, pens, toys, etc.).
  • The presence of pets visiting the street: even with timely anthelmintic therapy, dogs and cats can spread worm eggs brought from the street on their paws, wool.
  • Failure to comply with the rules for processing vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs before use.
  • Poor hygiene in the home: wearing outdoor shoes, untimely cleaning of floors, etc.

How to find out if a child has worms

Many parents are interested in how to detect worms. Laboratory diagnostics helps to recognize the disease and is a reliable way to determine helminthiasis. With the timely detection of invasion, a course of drug therapy is immediately prescribed, which helps to save the baby from unpleasant consequences.

When the body is affected by helminthiasis, the following signs may be noted:

  • increased headaches or dizziness;
  • grinding your teeth while sleeping (bruxism);
  • extreme tiredness;
  • digestive disorders (constipation or loose stools);
  • excessive increase in appetite or its complete absence;
  • painful sensations in the navel or all over the abdomen.

Get tested for worms

Symptoms Answer Itching in the anal area Yes Not Dysbacteriosis Yes Not General weakness Yes Not Dry cough Yes Not The appearance of allergic reactions Yes Not Weight loss Yes Not Headaches Yes Not Dizziness Yes Not Increased irritability Yes Not Swelling of the face and eyelids Yes Not

How to remove worms from a child

To date, there are quite effective anthelmintic drugs that have a pronounced effect, but they have a toxic effect and should be prescribed only by the attending physician, preferably a parasitologist, on the basis of diagnosed helminthiasis. Each drug has its own specific activity for a specific type of worms, some drugs have a wide spectrum of action.

In addition to anthelmintic therapy, the doctor can also prescribe antihistamines to reduce allergic reactions, in our article there is a list of the most effective and safe modern pills for allergies (Cetrin, Zodak, Loratadin, Zyrtec, which are in suspensions and drops for children from 2 years old)

For the treatment of nematodes - worms, which most often affect children, the following most effective remedies are currently offered in pharmacy chains in Russia (for more details, see Tablets for worms):

  • Mebendazole - Vormin 20 rubles, Vermox 90 rubles.., Vermacar, Vero-Mebendazole, Mebex, Thermox
  • Pirantel - Kombantrin, Pirantel (30-50 rubles), Helmintox (80-120 rubles), Nemocid, Pyrvinium
  • Levamisole - Decaris (70-90 rubles)
  • Albendazole - Nemozole (price 120-150 rubles), Gelmodol-VM, Vormil


Also, with pinworms, Piperazine can be prescribed, which has the least toxic effect on the child's body, in the case of a powerful invasion or damage to a group of nematodes by other helminths, Mebendazole (Vermox) is considered the most effective, which has an effect on both the larvae and the eggs of parasites. In detail about all the drugs that can be used to remove worms in children in our article - Medicines for worms for children.

There are also folk methods for removing worms, but their use should rather be considered as preventive, since with an accurate diagnosis of ascaris or pinworms, one should first of all carry out a drug, the most effective treatment for worms in children, and then supplement it with folk methods, such as the use of pumpkin seeds, various options for garlic therapy, enemas, etc.

Causes of worms in adolescents

The main causes of worms in adolescents:

  • the presence of a constant habit of eating with unwashed hands and not washed products;
  • the habit of biting your nails or engaging in gnawing around significant skin areas;
  • lack of banal personal hygiene skills - untidiness, unwillingness to wash hands after going outside, to the toilet;

If a teenager spends the lion's share of time in public places, the likelihood and risks of infection increase markedly.

The most common types of worms in cats and routes of infection

The three types of the most common parasites are tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms.

Tapeworms. The most common type of feline tapeworm is tapeworms. They enter the body of cats together with prey (mainly rodents), through raw meat or infected fleas. The adult tapeworm attaches to the intestinal wall and absorbs nutrients

Tape worms (cestodes)
Tape worms (cestodes)

Tape worms (cestodes)

Roundworms. There are several types of roundworms, but the most common type is called roundworms. They are white, cylindrical and pointed at both ends. Cats can become infected with roundworms by eating caught prey (rodents, birds, cockroaches). Roundworms are also very common in kittens, because they can enter the baby's body through the mother's milk

Roundworms (nematodes)
Roundworms (nematodes)

Roundworms (nematodes)

Nematodes. Are less common. They also enter the cat's body through prey, rotten meat, or breast milk. Larvae can penetrate the skin, especially the soft and delicate pads of cats, and migrate into the small intestine. Migration through the skin can be traced by redness, scabs and bumps. Nematodes often cause severe anemia, diarrhea, weight loss, a rash between the toes, and dark red or black stools. This is a very serious infection

Fluke worms (trematodes)
Fluke worms (trematodes)

These are just the main most common types and a small part of those parasites that plague our beloved pets. Each type also has subtypes that affect various organs. For example, the so-called heartworms.

It is a potentially fatal type of roundworm that lives in the pulmonary arteries and hearts of cats. To determine exactly who you are dealing with, you need to take tests and visit a veterinarian.

Causes of worms in cats

Adult worms, their eggs and larvae are constantly in the environment: in the grass, in the ground, everywhere on the roads, on the streets, in parks, etc. Even if the cat is kept at home exclusively, this does not guarantee that it will not become infected with helminths. In this case, they will be brought into the house on human clothing and shoe soles.

The risk of invasion (infection) also increases with:

  • feeding a mustachioed pet with raw meat, fish and drinking water from a water supply;
  • the presence of blood-sucking cutaneous parasites (fleas and lice);
  • contact with infected cats;
  • contacts with objects contaminated with helminth eggs;
  • the presence of worms in a pregnant cat, which in utero can infect kittens.

Signs of worms in dogs and puppies

Quite often, parasites can live in the body for a long time and not manifest themselves in any way. Sometimes symptoms similar to other diseases may appear, in connection with which a completely different disease is treated.

Such situations delay the detection of the disease, which adversely affects the body of the dog or puppy. Therefore, the animal should be periodically shown to the veterinarian and deworming should be carried out regularly.

In some cases, the fact that a pet is infected with worms can be recognized independently. To the typical symptoms of having a puppy or dog worms are:

  1. Deviations in the work of the gastrointestinal tract. This is expressed by indigestion, increased or lack of appetite, constipation or diarrhea, vomiting, unnatural eating habits. The pet can start to eat a lot, but at the same time its body weight decreases.
  2. Changing the behavior of a dog that becomes inactive and lethargic.
  3. The animal's coat becomes disheveled, hard and dull. Dandruff, eczema, dermatoses may appear.
  4. The pet's feces contain mucus, blood, parasites or their larvae.
  5. The belly of a dog, especially puppies, swells up and becomes hard. Against this background, protruding ribs are visible.
  6. The pet tries to "ride" on the back of the body, as it has severe itching of the anus.
  7. Difficulty swallowing and hiccups after eating.
  8. Whiteness of the mucous membranes and general anemia.
  9. Lack of growth and development in puppies.

If the dog is not treated, soon it will begin to vomit with worms, and intestinal obstruction may occur, which quite often leads to the death of the animal. That is why if a pet develops one of the above symptoms, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.

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