What is it?
Also known as Ascarid worms. These are intestinal worms of dogs and cats. They are round, white, 2 to 4 inches long and resemble spaghetti.
Who is susceptible to it?
Dogs, cats, humans, and wild animals.
How does it spread?
Roundworms can be spread by consuming infective worm eggs from soil, nursing from an infected mother, in utero and by consuming a prey animal (usually rodent) that is carrying developing worms.
Time line from exposure to signs?
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms vary from none to mild, including vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal swelling.
Is there a test for it?
Diagnosis is made from a microscopic examination of the feces or from a description of the worm if it is seen in the stool or vomitus.
How is it treated?
Treatment is an oral or topical medication (De-wormer), and the prevention of re-infection. Many heartworm preventives such as Heartgard Plus and Interceptor treat or control infections with roundworms and are an important addition to a roundworm prevention program.
Cleaning the environment?
The eggs of roundworms are extremely resistant to environmental conditions and can remain infective in the soil for months to years. 20% bleach solution (1 part bleach to 4 parts of water) should be sprayed or mopped on the area. This should be done on at least a weekly basis. This will not kill the eggs, but will strip off their sticky outer layer and make them easier to remove. Any feces in yards should be picked up on a daily basis. If soil becomes contaminated, about the only alternative is to remove it and replace it, or turn it over to a depth of 8 to 12 inches.
Is there a vaccine?
Risk for humans?
Transmission to humans is rare. Young children can develop “visceral larval migrans” (the worm travels to different organs causing disease). A unique form of this disease is called “ocular larvalmigrans.” Larvae migrate through the eyes and can cause vision loss or even blindness.