Table of contents:
- Life cycle
- Clinical picture
- Diagnostics, treatment and prevention
- Cestodes (tapeworm infection)
- Isosporosis (infection with coccidia)
Due to the prevalence of parasitic diseases in animals, worm pills are an urgent issue. Let's look at the main types of parasites, the symptoms of their presence in the body, and therapies to get rid of them.
- 1 Life cycle
- 2 Clinical picture
- 3 Diagnosis, treatment and prevention
- 4 Toxocariasis
- 5 Cestodes (tapeworm infection)
- 6 Isosporosis (coccidial infection)
- 7 Toxoplasmosis
- 8 Giardiasis
The term "internal parasites" can be considered not only as living organisms in the intestines of animals, but also in other organs such as the lungs, liver or heart. These include both unicellular (toxoplasmosis, isosporosis) and multicellular (tapeworms, roundworms) parasites.
Below is some basic information and a short list of the most common worms and the names of suitable medications.
The developmental cycle of the parasite is complex and specific for each species. Many of them need intermediate hosts for development. By this is meant an animal or a person in whose body eggs or larvae survive in the form of cysts, which are formed, for example, in muscles. In this form, the further development of the parasite into an adult does not occur.
Thus, the intermediate hosts are a kind of "bait" for the final host, which consumes eggs along with the tissues (eg muscles) of the intermediate host.
General clinical symptoms vary with the type of parasite and the degree of infection. In some cases, the infection causes no symptoms and is asymptomatic. This means that the animal is infected with an adult parasite, but the owner does not notice any clinical symptoms. However, this animal is a source of infection for others.
Such infections include, for example, toxoplasmosis and other parasitic diseases (ascariasis) in which clinical symptoms usually do not appear.
In immunocompetent animals or in the case of less severe infection, the disease may also be asymptomatic. Often, owners believe that if an animal is clinically healthy and no parasites are found in the droppings, it is healthy. However, feces contain parasites of the initial stages of development (eggs, larvae) that are invisible to the naked eye. For these reasons, it is necessary to conduct a microscopic examination of the stool.
In other parasitic diseases, a number of different symptoms occur, which are represented by an increase in abdominal volume, stunting, wasting, poor coat quality, diarrhea, dehydration, eye discharge, coughing, impaired coordination of movements, paralysis of the limbs and neurological symptoms. In some cases, the infection is so severe that it can be fatal.
Diagnostics, treatment and prevention
In order to detect parasitic infections, a microscopic examination of feces is carried out. A hazelnut-sized sample is taken daily for 5-7 days in a sealable container and kept cold.
Parasitological examination of the droppings is recommended before any preventive deworming, which should take place at least 2-4 times a year (in the case of adult animals). In young animals, deworming is carried out at intervals of 14 days at the age of 2 weeks to 3 months. From 3 to 6 months of age, the procedure is carried out once a month.
The most common parasites that can be identified by microscopic examination of stool include:
- Toxocariasis (ascaris infection),
- Tohosaga Canis (dog roundworm),
- Cati Tohosaga (feline roundworm) and others.
These parasitic diseases are the most common infections. As already mentioned, roundworm eggs pass through the placenta (dogs) and also enter breast milk (dogs, cats), so in most cases, young animals are the most vulnerable group.
Therapy should be started at 14 days of age and repeated every 2 weeks until 3 months of age. Along with young animals, the mother should also receive drugs for worms. The medicine can be administered in the form of a paste or drops, for the older generation - in the form of tablets. With timely therapy, the prognosis is good. With the manifestation of clinical symptoms of worms in animals under the age of 3 months, however, the prognosis is worse; sometimes even lethal outcome is possible.
Ascaris is a zoonosis! After consuming roundworm eggs, a person becomes a paratenic host. This means that a younger larval stage of parasites is stored in its body, which settle, for example, in the eye, where they are not subject to further development into adult worms. Children are most at risk.
Cestodes (tapeworm infection)
Dipilidum caninum (dog tapeworm) and others
Canine tapeworm is one of the most common cestodes in dogs and cats. He lives in the intestines, fleas and lice can be intermediate hosts. Infection occurs after ingestion of an infected intermediate host. In the intestines of a dog or cat, the development of the parasite into an adult tapeworm is completed within 14-21 days.
For therapeutic purposes, a medicine for worms based on praziquantel is administered. In addition, it is necessary to get rid of external parasites, especially fleas and lice. Cestodes are zoonoses! People become infected by ingesting infected fleas or lice. Such an incident is not uncommon.
Isosporosis (infection with coccidia)
- Isospora canis
- Isospora felis and others
Isospores / coccidia are unicellular parasites that live in the small intestine. Dogs and cats are infected from a microbial contaminated environment. Most often young animals are infected at the age of 3-4 months, but the threat exists in relation to adults.
For therapeutic purposes, the agent Toltrazuril is used.
Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common parasitic infections transmitted to humans. The final owners are cats and felines. Only in their organisms is Toxoplasma able to complete its development and secrete oocysts (eggs). The intermediate owner can be a dog or other animal, as well as a person.
Toxoplasma is a zoonosis! Caution should be exercised by pregnant women in the first trimester who have never met with toxoplasma and do not have antibodies in the body. If a woman produces antibodies before pregnancy, then in case of contact with an infected cat during pregnancy, there is no risk to the fetus.
Another risk group is represented by HIV-positive people.
As a precautionary measure, it is recommended to observe personal hygiene, use rubber gloves when working with clay, cover children's sandboxes, and during pregnancy leave the feeding of cats and cleaning the litter box to other family members.
Giardia is a protozoan that lives in the intestines. The parasite is common in animals around the world.
Infection in some cases is asymptomatic, sometimes diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, weight loss and often skin manifestations occur. The intensity of the symptoms depends on the immune state of the host.
Therapy involves drugs based on metronidazole, mebendazole, fenbendazole and others. Human transmission should not be excluded!