Can I get worms from my pet?

Jim Johnson   June 10, 2012   Comments Off on Can I get worms from my pet?

Q) Can I get worms from my pet?

A) Unfortunately, the answer is “yes”. There are two diseases that can result from worms transmitted from your pet. The first, visceral larval migrans, results from oral ingestion of a microscopic worm egg, and can be especially serious in children. The second, cutaneous larval migrans, is caused by migration of a worm (usually hookworm) under the skin.

Once these diseases are contracted by your family, they must be treated by your physician, but your veterinarian can help you prevent them in the first place. The best way to prevent these diseases is through routine worming of your pets, especially puppies and kittens. Clean up after your pet to reduce environmental contamination by eggs shed in the feces, and be sure to practice good hygiene. Finally, a yearly intestinal parasite screen by your veterinarian can detect possible parasite infections.