🐶 Elsa 👑 is not gaining weight because of Roundworms ! Roundworms = the most common intestinal parasite in 🐕& 🐈 . The adult 🐛 are round & range in size from less than 2 to 6 inches. According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, a survey using samples collected from across the 🇺🇸 found that more than 30% of 🐶 younger than 6 months of age were shedding roundworm 🥚 🍳 & other studies have shown that virtually all 🐶 🐾 are born infected ! Other surveys have found more than 25% of 🐱 infected !
Because the larval stages of the worms migrate inside the 🐶 🐱, some of the 🐛 become encysted & lie dormant in the host animal’s organs. When the female becomes pregnant, those hidden parasites can become active, mature, & be passed to the 🐶 or 🐱 across the placenta before they are ever even born! Sometimes the worms pass into the mother’s 🥛 so the young ones are exposed again when they are nursing. 🐈 & 🐕 can also become infected by 👅 and/or eating grass & dirt & other soiled items that contain infective 🥚 or by eating 🐀 animals that have already been infected. The migrating larvae travel through the body causing damage primarily to the liver & the lungs with most of the clinically significant damage occurring in the lungs & resulting in coughing & respiratory problems. Once adult 🐛 form in the gastrointestinal tract, your 🐶 or 🐱 may develop 🤮 , 💩, bloating & abdominal discomfort 😔 . According to the CDC approximately 14% of people in the 🇺🇸 test positive to antibodies against roundworms. That means that at some point in time those individuals were exposed to roundworm larvae which resulted in their bodies producing antibodies in an effort to clear the infection.
In people infections are often self limiting since the 🐛 cannot undergo their complete life cycle in humans. If illness does occur, as can be the case especially in young 👶🏼 , your physician will decide on the best treatment. If the larvae travel to a person’s 👀 , their presence can cause inflammation & redness & even blindness. See your vet for parasite tests & to discuss appropriate 🦠prevention!