Common Worms and Parasites: Identifying Worms and Symptoms
Return to Blog Fatigue, weight loss, decreased appetite—these could be signs of a general ailment in your dog, or something worse: heartworm disease. By the time heartworm symptoms appear, it often means the disease has spread. Heartworm signs in dogs tend to show up when the worm reaches maturity, typically around 6 months post-implantation.
When it does this, it transfers the worms from the previous animal. Keep in mind, these symptoms may also be signs of other conditions. Unfortunately, treatment for heartworm disease can be difficult, costly, and painful for your dog.
Here are five warning signs your dog may have heartworms. Persistent cough Unlike a regular cough or a kennel cough, which is strong and sporadic, a heartworm- related cough is dry and persistent. In the early stages, the cough may be induced by even small amounts of exercise, as the heartworm parasites make their way into the lungs, creating blockage and discomfort.
Lethargy If your pet suddenly loses interest in going for walks or being active, it may be a sign of heartworm. As the condition worsens, doing any type of physical activity may become too strenuous for your pup. Weight loss When heartworm disease begins to spread, it becomes tougher for dogs to muster enough energy for even the simplest tasks. Routine actions like eating or enjoying a snack may prove to be too taxing, resulting in rapid weight loss. Middle-stage symptoms of heartworm disease Once the heartworms have matured, they inhabit the lungs and veins of the host, causing severe blockage and leading to the following symptoms: 4.
Difficulty breathing Along with coughing, breathing problems mimicking that of an asthma attack may occur in your dog. Fluid can also build around the blood vessels in the lungs, making it difficult for the lungs to oxygenate the blood. The ribs will also have a bulging appearance as a result of weight loss.
In the late stage, however, these symptoms become heightened, and more complications with your pet will start to emerge. Once the disease has been identified, the next step is killing all adult and immature worms while keeping the side effects of the treatment to a minimum. As we mentioned before, treatment for heartworm disease can be very expensive. The process is long and difficult and can be painful for your dog. In the end, there is no guarantee that your dog will be fully cured of the disease.
If your pet is free and clear of heartworms, keeping it that way is the best course of action. While heartworm disease is dangerous, it can also be completely avoided, saving you time, money and stress. All dogs should be tested for heartworm infection before starting a preventive program. For more information, contact your veterinarian or click here for full prescribing information. How to Prevent Heartworm Disease in Dogs Apr 22, Heartworm disease is a stressful, complicated, and costly situation for you, and can be debilitating for your dog.
Luckily year-round prevention is possible. In honor of Heartworm Awareness Month, we turned to the American Heartworm Society to shed more light on heartworm disease and the options you have when it comes to keeping your dog healthy and safe. Heartworm Disease: Facts and Myths Apr 20, Heartworm disease is a stressful, complicated, and costly situation for you, and can be debilitating for your dog.
Our friendly experts will work with you and your clinic to solve all of your operational needs. Ready to get your clinic started with PetPro Connect? We just need a few details about your clinic, and then a PetPro Connect Rep will get you setup when it is convenient for you.
Coughing in dogs Symptoms, causes and treatments
We planned to return to Miami and pick them up after finishing in Haiti, and then continuing on to Central America. From Haiti, we connected with Clinica Esperanza and Barefoot Cay Marina in Roatan, so Holly learning to work with composites during a hull repair we came directly here instead of going back to Miami.
We saved a lot of fuel and time but it meant we had to ship our pallets here to Roatan. We also had to coordinate someone willing to drive a truck from the warehouse in Miami that was kind enough to hold our supplies to the Hyde Shipping warehouse in Miami…all the while seeing patients, planning our Haiti mission, fueling, securing the boat for sea, coordinating our foot container from Direct Relief International for the island clinics and for Haiti.
It has been BUSY. Especially any clinicians reading this, this patient has suffered significant symptoms for months and has given permission to post his case for review by any of our medical followers.
Please post comments or questions for more details about the case directly on this page where we can all see them and brainstorm together. All posts are visible only after review and approval by Floating Doctors to protect patient dignity and confidentiality. He continued taking a daily dose of mg of albendazole for the next few days, but continued to pass similar worms.
One time within the last week , while in the shower I blew my nose in my hands. Figuring I was exhibiting symptoms of hypochondria, I chalked it up as my mind playing tricks on me. He also ate enormous amounts of fruit and had a colonic irrigation though he saw no worms come out during the evacuation, only the next day , and is taking 15,mg of garlic daily. He has not had blood work or an ova and parasites study stool sample.
He has been advised to collect one of the worms and bring it to his hospital or GP for parasitology, and to have a full blood count with differential to look for raised eosinophils. Results will be posted as soon as available.
Dead And Partially Necrosed Worm? Mucous Strand? Could they be some kind of mucous shedding of the intestine post infection or from the treatments he has given himself…even the garlic? If so, what about the episodes of coughing and similar, smaller mucous strings from his nose? He has tried most of the heavy-hitters for parasites…even horse worming medication not on my advice! Does anyone recognize these as worms or other pathology, or have suggestions for further treatment or investigations?
The patient has no medical insurance so cost will be a factor in patient ability to comply with investigations. Taking the worm to a doctor so it can be sent to a specialist and analyzed if necessary is definitely the next step, but any advice or ideas would be appreciated.
Our foot container from Direct Relief is supposed to be cleared through customs Thursday! Waiting At The Customs House Desk Then we can distribute everything, load the boat and depart at the first weather window to Jamaica for fuel and back to Haiti!
There be monsters…living in the human body….
Why is a stool sample required? There are only two types of parasites that may be easily visible by the human eye. A stool sample may be able to identify adult worms, as well as microscopic eggs, shed more regularly in the stool early in the disease process.
Common Parasites That Affect Your Pets Hookworms are also much more common in dogs and puppies, but can also infect cats and kittens. Hookworms secure themselves to the small intestines, sucking up blood for nourishment. Exposure to hookworms occurs via stool that has been contaminated by it or ingesting the eggs by other means.
Puppies and kittens can also be exposed to the parasite by nursing on an infected mother. Due to the loss of blood, advanced stages of hookworm infestation tend to cause anemia.
Poor weight, loss of interest in favorite foods and treats and low energy are all hallmarks of a hookworm infestation. Tapeworms come from fleas, putting dogs and cats in danger. Tapeworms look like several pieces of tape secured together, with distinct tiny brick like sections.
Looking like small pieces of rice, these tapeworm segments move when agitated, unless they are already dried.
5 Signs Your Dog May Have Heartworms
These segments contain tapeworm eggs. Tapeworm infestations tend to be aggressive. All posts are visible only after review and approval by Floating Doctors to protect patient dignity and confidentiality. He continued taking a daily dose of mg of albendazole for the next few days, but continued to pass similar worms.
One time within the last weekwhile in the shower I blew my nose in my hands. Figuring I was exhibiting symptoms of hypochondria, I chalked it up as my mind playing tricks on me. He also ate enormous amounts of fruit and had a colonic irrigation though he saw no worms come out during the evacuation, only the next dayand is taking 15,mg of garlic daily. He has not had blood work or an ova and parasites study stool sample. He has been advised to collect one of the worms and bring it to his hospital or GP for parasitology, and to have a full blood count with differential to look for raised eosinophils.
Results will be posted as soon as available. Unlike Ascaris and Trichuris, hookworm prevalence is not exaggerated in urban slums and, instead, occurs mostly in poor, tropical, coastal communities and agrarian communities. Larval development is more susceptible to climatic extremes low rainfall or temperature than the eggs of Ascaris. However, hookworm occurs throughout many such areas, suggesting that hookworm tolerates higher temperatures than A. In the tropics, hookworm is generally confined to coastal plains below meters elevation.
Because A. Hookworms are unable to survive desiccation, and a minimum amount of rainfall is also an important determinant influencing hookworm transmission. In some endemic areas in which hookworm transmission is seasonal, new infections with A. Soil type is another environmental factor important for hookworm transmission. Sandy soils facilitate the migration of infective larvae, whereas clay soils inhibit migration, another reason hookworm is most prevalent in coastal areas where sandy soils predominate.
Enterobius transmission is favored wherever there is poor sanitation, overcrowding, and lack of water. Because Strongyloides transmission occurs via skin contact with fecally-contaminated soil, transmission is favored where poor hygienic conditions are combined with a warm, moist climate. Soil-transmitted helminths are among the most common of human parasites. Not only are more than 1 billion people infected by at least one of these worms, many are infected with multiple species.
Approximately 1 billion people are infected with Ascaris the most common helminth infection of humansabout million with Trichuris, and million with hookworm. Although widely distributed, ascariasis is most abundant in the tropics.
Most cases of STH infections in non-endemic regions occur among immigrants and travelers. Infections in such persons generally resolve within a few years even without treatment when the adult worms die. Because of the requirement that STH eggs or larvae develop on soil before becoming infectious, these parasites cannot be transmitted directly from person-to-person and cannot multiply in the host.
This contrasts, for example, with Strongyloides and pinwormwhich can be transmitted from person-to-person. Enterobiasis is also highly prevalent, with global prevalence rates that approach that of the STHs. Unlike other intestinal nematodes, pinworm infection occurs worldwide and does not disproportionately affect residents of tropical countries. Pinworm is the most common helminth infection in the United States.
Global estimates of strongyloidiasis prevalence vary widely, from million infected; S. Strongyloidiasis is found throughout the tropics and subtropics and in limited foci of the United States e. Appalachia and Europe. Given the high prevalence in many tropical and subtropical areas and the lifelong persistence of this parasite bratva tattoo arrow the absence of treatment, physicians should consider strongyloidiasis both in persons with recent exposure to endemic areas and immigrant or refugee patients in developed countries even if they immigrated decades earlier.
For both Ascaris and Trichuris, children in impoverished rural areas are particularly heavy amplifiers of these infections, as they often play on contaminated soil and more frequently are exposed by hand-to-mouth behaviors. The highest prevalence rates are typically seen in those younger than 10 years of age, with prevalence decreasing in older persons.
Even in highly endemic areas, most infected people harbor only a small number of worms; only a minority usually children is heavily infected. Children, therefore, account for the majority of the worms in a community and most of the eggs that are shed into the environment.
Unlike Ascaris and Trichuris, hookworm prevalence most commonly increases throughout childhood and then plateaus in young adulthood. Well-recognized risk factors for Enterobius infection include overcrowding, poor sanitation, and lack of water for bathing and washing of hands and clothes. In developed countries, such as the United States, Strongyloides transmission occurs rarely in the Southeast Appalachiaalthough the highest seroprevalence rates are seen in the institutionalized, the poor, or in rural areas.
In developed settings, Strongyloides infection is most commonly seen in immigrants from more highly endemic countries. Among those infected with Strongyloides, certain patient populations are more susceptible to the hyperinfection syndrome; this includes those receiving corticosteroids or cancer chemotherapeutic agents, those co-infected with HTLV, as well as other immunosuppressive conditions. In areas with good control programs, such as mass drug administration MDAsanitation initiatives, and promotion of good footwear, substantial decreases in the prevalence of the STHs has been seen.
Large-scale control programs for pinworm and Strongyloides have been scarcer. However, the prevalence of pinworm in well-recognized at-risk groups, such as residents of orphanages and homes for the intellectually disabled, appears in decline. This likely reflects improved sanitation and living standards in such institutions.
Studies based on stool examination in the s and s showed Strongyloides prevalence rates of 0. No accepted guidelines exist regarding the issue of chemoprophylaxis for infections with STHs or Strongyloides. For pinworm infections, household and other close contacts of an index case should receive a course of presumptive therapy given the high rate of transmission to such persons.
The search for effective vaccines against intestinal nematodes continues, as vaccination offers a simple, cost-effective, single step for control or elimination and is perhaps the most desirable preventative measure. Unfortunately, the lack of good animal models and a poor understanding of how helminths persist in humans in the face of a potent immune response have hindered the development of an effective vaccine.
Nevertheless, a hookworm vaccine consisting of the recombinant larval antigen ASP2 is effective in animal models and has shown a protective association in immunoepidemiology studies. The Na-ASP-2 hookworm vaccine is now undergoing clinical development in humans, with Phase I data demonstrating it is safe and antigenic. Phase II trials are ongoing.
This vaccine targets the larval forms of hookworms, but not adult worms. Development of a vaccine that will be effective against both the larval and adult stages of hookworms is ongoing. There are no vaccines for the other intestinal nematodes currently in clinical trials. Primarily, prevention involves better fecal-oral hygiene, provision of clean food and water, good community-wide sanitation, and use of adequate footwear use in endemic areas.
As provision of safe water and adequate sanitation is expensive and logistically difficult for many developing countries to implement, the World Health Organization WHO advocates treatment with antihelminthic drugs at regular intervals to populations at risk. This is done primarily to reduce individual worm burdens below those that cause significant disease and to decrease the overall community worm burden.
Albendazole is safe, inexpensive, and widely available; programs employing this agent or mebendazole are, therefore, feasible for most developing countries. Although similar large-scale programs targeted specifically for Enterobius or Strongyloides are not widespread, albendazole has activity against both parasites and can likely reduce the burden of disease due to these intestinal nematodes as well.
For Strongyloides, albendazole is a second-line therapeutic option with ivermectin being the preferred agent. In countries co-endemic for lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis, which have mass drug administration programs utilizing ivermectin to control these parasites, a salutary effect on Strongyloides is likely. How do these organisms cause disease? The pathology stemming from Ascaris infection results from both the host response and the parasite. During larval migration, cells suffer mechanical trauma and lysis due to larval enzymes.
Larvae also induce granuloma formation, and Ascaris or hookworm larvae in pulmonary parenchyma cause a hypersensitivity reaction. The pathophysiologic consequences of Ascaris and Trichuris in the gastrointestinal tract stem from the presence of worms in the lumen.
Although the severity of symptoms is usually proportional to worm burden, a single worm can e. With Trichuris, heavier infections result in expansion of the ecological niche from the right colon to the entire colon.
Production of bloody mucus from the mucosa occurs, with anemia and impaired growth as possible sequelae. Hookworms, by contrast, exert their primary pathologic effect via blood loss. They attach to the intestinal mucosa by their strong buccal capsules and cutting plates or teeth and secrete anticoagulants and anti-inflammatory factors, allowing continuous blood ingestion.
Chronic iron deficiency is particularly detrimental in childhood and may directly impair cognitive and intellectual development. Human infection with these parasites leads to a predominantly Th2 immune response.
Intestinal Nematodes (Roundworm)
It is thought that this shift in immunological response may impact the manifestations of allergic and rheumatologic diseases, as well as the response to infections typically controlled by the Th1 response, such as tuberculosis. There is controversy regarding whether antibodies produced in response to STH infections are protective or merely a marker of past or present infection. Strongyloides infection is sustained over time in a given host by a small, stable number of intestinal adult worms.
Although these die after a finite lifespan, autoinfection ensures the constant production of new worms, perpetuating the cycle even in the absence of re-infection. In patients with chronic strongyloidiasis, autoinfection is normally well controlled by cell-mediated immunity, and the number of adult worms remains low and stable.
With immunosuppression, more autoinfective larvae complete the cycle, and the population of parasitic adult worms increases, causing hyperinfection. The large numbers of migrating larvae can disseminate, often associated with polymicrobial sepsis, bronchopneumonia, and meningitis.
Both parasite and host factors affect regulation of this cycle. The population size of S. When the immune response is impaired, larger numbers of autoinfective parasites can develop, as reported in patients with hematologic malignancies, solid organ and hematopoietic cell transplants, hypogammaglobulinemia, and severe malnutrition. Interestingly, there has been little association between cyclosporine use and hyperinfection syndrome; some evidence suggests cyclosporine may have an antihelminthic effect on S.
Among HTLV-infected patients, there is a strong association with increased susceptibility to infection with Strongyloides, the hyperinfection syndrome, and poor response to treatment. Control of S. There is some suggestion that S. In contrast, there have been surprisingly few reports of hyperinfection among S.
Corticosteroid use carries a disproportionately high risk for disseminated strongyloidiasis compared to other forms of immunosuppression. Corticosteroids may up-regulate growth of S. They may also allow non-reproductive adult worms to regain reproductivity.
Patients have developed hyperinfection after only a few days of corticosteroid administration. Bull World Health Organ. Adv Parasitol. Clin Infect Dis. Parasite Immunol. Cross, JH.