How can animal and human contamination occur?
Roundworms are the most common worms found in puppies and kittens because contamination takes place from birth! Getting rid of these parasites is important for their health but also for the health of those who live around them because accidental ingestion of roundworms eggs can lead to serious problems in humans.
Ask your vet for advice before buying a dewormer because not all are equal!
Initial contamination of puppies and kittens by roundworms occurs via the placenta or maternal milk, when their mother was infested by these parasites. Roundworm larvae then develop in the pup’s or kitten’s intestine and eggs are then released in the stools, contaminating the environment. By sticking to animal feet and human shoes, roundworm eggs can be transported everywhere!
Adult hunting cats and dogs also infest themselves by consuming prey that carry roundworm larvae in their tissues.
When roundworms are very numerous, they form balls that disrupt the intestinal transit. In the event of a major infestation, these worms cause many digestive disorders.
Parasites also prevent puppies and kittens from taking full advantage of their nutritional intake: their growth slows down and their immune defenses weaken.
Every day, thousands of eggs are released into the stools of parasitized animals, which can survive 2 years in the outdoor environment! They are obviously found in the litter of the cat but also in all the places where dogs and cats can eliminate their stools.
Children who play in soiled gardens or sand pits (as well as people who eat poorly washed vegetables) are exposed to accidental ingestion of roundworm eggs. Contamination can also occur when an infected dog or cat is cuddled and eggs are glued to his hair. The risk is greater for children as they often carry their hand to their mouths after cuddling the animal.
Ingested eggs give rise to larvae that migrate into the body and can cause serious health problems, especially if they are located in the eyes or nervous system.
The frequency of deworming depends on the age and lifestyle of your dog or cat, but it has to be done at least twice a year. Your veterinarian can help you to optimize the protocol by examining for instance a stool sample of your pet under a microscope and questioning you about your animal lifestyle. The number and type of eggs of parasites observed, as well as the hazard your pet is facing will help him to prescribe a more focused treatment.