Wondering how your dog gets worms? Is it really possible for a dog to get a parasitical infection from cats? If questions like these often bother you, then you have arrived at the right place.
We can survive with worms around us, in the yard, maybe drainage, or on the sidewalk. But having worms inside our pet dogs and cats is something that scares a lot of individuals.
There are a number of parasites that can get inside your dog’s system. But how? Brace yourself since we have answers for all your queries. Make sure you stick with the article till the end to get the most out of it.
Can Dogs Get Worms From Cat Poop?
Unfortunately, dogs can get worms from cats’ poop/ stool. The worm inside your cat’s system can pass out through their feces. And to the surprise, these worms come out live, surviving all through the way.
Several individuals believe that worms cannot transfer through species. However, worms can particularly survive in cat’s poop for a long time through certain eggs and shells of worms.
Further, when a dog eats that poop (dogs find it fascinating to eat poop and other shits), chances of worm transmission become very high.
That is why, whenever you suspect your cat with a worm infection, keep your other house pets away from her. It is essential to restrict the possible worm transmission between two pets.
What kind of worms Can dogs get from cats?
Roundworms, the most common intestinal parasites of the cat, are the ones that easily transfer to dogs.
Toxocara leonine is Roundworm that infests both dogs and cats. The roundworms that infest only cats and kittens are known as Toxocara cati.
At the same time, the roundworms that infest only dogs and puppies are known as Toxocara canis.
When swallowing dirt and dust consisting of cat feces that have worm eggs or larvae, a dog can easily catch worms.
What is Toxocariasis? Its symptoms in humans
Toxocariasis is a parasitic infection that transfers from animals to humans. Toxocariasis infection is usually found in the cat’s intestine (Toxocara cati) and dog’s intestine (Toxocara Canis). This infection is caused by parasitic roundworms and is easily transferable.
Pet owners (cat, dog, rabbit, chicken, pig, and cattle) have a chance of getting the Toxocariasis infection.
The infection spreads through Toxocara eggs that any suffering animal may shed through their intestinal waste. Humans catch it easily by accidentally swallowing animal feces containing Toxocara eggs.
Individuals can also catch Toxocariasis in some rare instances by eating undercooked meat containing Toxocara larvae.
Symptoms of Toxocariasis in humans:
Toxocariasis transmitting between pets to humans is a very common instance.
Humans suffering from Toxocariasis may take a week to show symptoms, though in some cases, it may extend to weeks or even a month.
Some of the common symptoms of Toxocariasis in humans include fever, fatigue, coughing, wheezing, vomiting, and stomach pain.
What are the symptoms of dogs having worms?
Worms in dogs can cause serious medical issues and are a major deter in health conditions. A worm infection might not bother your dog’s health much during the initial stage.
However, once the worms and parasites begin growing inside, your dog will start feeling uncomfortable. Then, it further will start showing a major impact on their health.
Certain changes in your dog’s health condition are an indication of worm and parasitical infection.
10 symptoms that dogs show while suffering from worm infection.
Each type of worm infection can result in vomiting. Dogs suffering from an infection of roundworms, hookworms, or tapeworms will visibly vomit worms along with some water and undigested food.
Whereas dogs suffering from whipworm infection will vomit a yellow-green substance.
However, vomiting is also a sign of indigestion; thus, do not always confuse it with parasitical infection. Only when your dog is frequently vomiting is it time to see a Vet.
- Low energy
Worms in your dog’s system feed on their blood and energy. Everything you feed your dog indirectly aids in the growth of worms inside their digestive tract.
That is why dogs who have a worm in their system often appear less active and lethargic. Thus, whenever you observe your ever-active dog is not showing interest in anything, take him to the Vet.
- Swollen or bloated abdomen
If your dog has roundworms, the most common symptoms you may notice include Swollen or bloated abdomen. It appears so since the roundworms create blockage in the dog’s intestine.
Though dogs of all ages may develop swollen abdomen, it is more common in puppies who are still nursing.
- Change in appetite, weight loss, and weight gain.
Dogs with worms in their stomach often display huge changes in appetite. While some dogs will show the least interest in eating, some will display a sudden increase in hunger.
Besides weight, the rapid increase or decrease in a dog’s weight is also a sign of worm infection. In any similar case, it is ideal for reaching a vet soon.
Canine Diarrhea, especially the one that stays for a prolonged period, is a sign of worm infection. In addition, infections like hookworm infection can result in blood in the stool.
Thus, if you notice anything suspicious in your dog’s stool, contact your Vet immediately.
- Dullness in coat
A shiny and lush coat is a sign of a healthy dog. Whereas when your dog’s coat starts showing signs of dullness and roughness, chances are he may have worms.
Since there are several kinds of worms behind the coat’s changing status, their treatment will differ too.
- Dog rubbing bottom on the ground
Dogs who suffer from worms will occasionally or often rub their bottom (back passage gland) on the ground.
They do so in order to relieve the itch, which often occurs due to worms. Pet owners may also notice their dog licking their bottom.
- Skin infection and Itching
While suffering from severe worm infection, dogs may show signs of Itching and skin infection.
A dry and persistent cough is often an indication of heartworms, hookworm, and roundworms.
Coughing is also a sign that heartworms are possibly migrating into your dog’s lungs. It can further result in a blockage of oxygenated blood.
Worms can cause serious and sometimes even fatal respiratory issues amongst dogs.
- Fur Worms
Worms, most possibly tapeworms, in some cases appear in your dog’s fur. You can find them moving and with hair patches on those corners.
While observing worms in your dog’s fur, make sure you consult the Vet immediately.
Worms in fur are a sign of serious infection, and probably your dog is suffering majorly due to it.
- Worms in stool
Dogs who are suffering from worms may release the same through their stools.
These worms are often visible, and dog owners can see them through close observation. But certainly, one must take their dog’s stool for diagnosis.
7 Diseases You Can Get from Your Pet Cat
Even though cats are great human companions, they can also spread a variety of illnesses and diseases to humans.
Here is a list of possible diseases that can transfer from cats to humans:
- Campylobacteriosis (Campylobacter spp.) spreads by coming in contact with cat feces or consuming contaminated food/water.
- Cat scratch disease (CSD) (Bartonella henselae) spreads with exposure to the bacteria if an infected cat licks or scratches you.
- Cat Tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum) spreads through ingestion of infected fleas while grooming or petting cats.
- Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium spp.) spreads by accidental ingestion of a cat’s poop or food/water contaminated with the same.
- MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) spreads when individuals touch and cuddle an already infected cat.
- Rabies: It spreads through the cat’s saliva, scratch, and bite.
- Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii) spreads by not maintaining hygiene after cleaning the cat’s litter.
How easy is it to get worms from a cat?
Individuals, especially pet owners who are less likely to maintain hygiene, can easily get worms from a cat.
A cat who is suffering from a worm/ parasite infection can easily spread the same to any living individual around.
Be it dogs, humans, or other house pets, worm infections transmit easily.
Especially if an individual comes in contact with a cat’s feces, these infections likely transfer.
Ten ways Cats Infect Dogs
- Through their stools.
- By scratching dogs.
- While biting dogs.
- By contaminating their food.
- By Infecting their water source.
- A cat suffering from any kind of fever/ infection can transmit it to other pets.
- By sneezing and coughing in front of the dog.
- Fleas who have bitten an infected cat can transfer the infection by further biting the dog.
- An infected cat liking a dog can also lead to the transfer of infection.
- Infection between dogs and cats can also transfer by mating. It is less likely to happen however not impossible.
Can Tapeworms transfer from dogs to cats? How?
Tapeworms, specifically Dipylidium caninum, are the most common parasites that infect dogs and cats. Tapeworms can easily transfer from dogs to cats, especially the pets who live together.
Cats who accidentally or purposely swallow a flea infected with tapeworm larvae can develop tapeworm infection.
These flies usually appear in the environment through an already suffering dog or other pet. Once the cat digest that flea, it will further develop an adult tapeworm in its system.
A tapeworm infection doesn’t usually make pets ill, but vomiting and weight loss may appear in some cases.
Pet owners can occasionally observe tapeworms in their dog’s/cat’s stool or around their poop passage. In rare cases, when the tapeworm inside the pet’s stomach is long, it may also pass when the pet vomits.
For treating tapeworm infection in dogs, vets often recommend a drug known as praziquantel. The tapeworm dissolves in the intestine and passes out through the stool.
Can Roundworms transfer from dogs to cats? How?
Roundworms or nematodes are other common parasites that infect dogs, cats, and humans alike. Infected dogs often shed roundworm eggs through their stool.
These eggs further mature in the environment and transform into an infective parasitic stage. Later, when a cat swallows either the eggs or the infective parasite, they too catch the infection.
Puppies can also receive roundworm infection relatively straightforwardly while they are nursing. So it is since the nursing dog’s mother is already suffering from the said infection.
The most common sign of roundworm infection in dogs is a swollen abdomen and weight loss.
Recovering from roundworms can take several weeks since one worm can produce tens of thousands of eggs a day.
However, the treatment often is easier, and it includes nothing but a course of certain deworming medications.
In some cases, dogs recover with just one deworming tablet. However, in most cases, when the infection is severe, it takes weeks to months course for the pet to fully recover. During this stage, regular diagnosis is also essential.
Can Hookworms transfer from dogs to cats? How?
Hookworms are blood-feeding intestinal parasites that cause a common infection which is known as helminthiases.
Hookworms can infect dogs, cats, and humans alike and can even easily pass between your furry pets.
It is quite common for dogs to pass their hookworm infection to cats and other pets residing in the same household.
Dogs cannot directly pass hookworms to cats. Instead, an infected dog will likely pass hookworm eggs through its stool.
These eggs will further hatch into larvae and mix with soil and other components in the environment.
Further, when a cat, another dog, on even a human being walks barefoot in that environment, they may likely catch the hookworm infection.
Or it may also transfer by coming in contact with exposed skin. Amongst pets, the infection also spread by unintentionally eating/ swallowing worm eggs.
The most common signs of Hookworm infection in pets include tarry diarrhea, weakness, and anemia. And since these worms feed on pet’s blood, the infection in some rare cases may also cause death.
Medical experts often suggest melarsomine, an injectable drug for treating hookworm. However, this drug isn’t over the counter and must only be taken under Vet’s supervision.
Can Whipworms transfer from dogs to cats? How?
Whipworm or Trichuris Serrata is one of the big four intestinal parasites. The Whipworm infection can transfer from dogs to cats indirectly.
Cats who have a habit of sniffing and swallowing all the rubbish from their surrounding are more likely to catch the infection. An infected dog would likely release whipworm eggs through his stool.
And when a cat will by any chance ingest those eggs, egg larvae, or worms, the infection will indirectly transfer to their system.
Whipworm takes nearly 3 months to hatch; thus, an infected cat will take time to show visible symptoms. Some of the evident symptoms of the same may include dehydration, weight loss, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and blood in the stool.
For treating Whipworm infection in your dogs and cats, your Vet will usually advise any deworming medication.
These drugs will paralyze the worm, making them release their grip on the pet’s intestine and further pass through their stool.
The treatment can take several months since Whipworms may have laid several eggs by then inside the pet’s stomach. Since the pet may also suffer from abdominal pain, the Vet will suggest some pain relief drugs as well.
Can Heartworms transfer from dogs to cats? How?
Heartworms are very common in dogs, but cats too likely can catch them. The infection likely spreads when a mosquito has bitten an infected dog will likely bite a cat. The infection will then further migrate to the heart or blood vessels of the lungs.
It will eventually result in causing a severe infection resulting in cough or, more likely, lack of oxygen.
The most common signs of Heartworm infection in pets include coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, lethargy, or weight loss. Cats, though, suffer from fewer symptoms, but in dogs, symptoms are more prominent.
For treating Heartworm infection in pets, vets often prescribe deworming drugs. Though most often, when the infection has led to severe illness in pets, surgical removal of heartworms is what helps. Vets even perform surgery to remove fluid from the lungs (diuretics).
Heartworm infection is known for creating severe health issues in pets. That is why it is always recommended to make sure you keep your pets safe in the first place.
And since pets receive this infection throughout the year, make sure you keep them safe from mosquitos every single time. While at home, maintain cleanliness. Whereas outdoors, use pet-safe insect repellent in order to ensure safety.
Best Dogs & Cats Deworming Medicine
- DEWORMER FOR DOGS: PetArmor 7 Way Chewable De-Wormer for dogs treats and controls 7 species of worms: 2 types of tapeworms, 2 types of roundworms, and 3 types of hookworms
- VET-QUALITY: These vet-quality tablets are safe for puppies 12 weeks or older, and small dogs 6.0 to 25 lbs
- DEWORMER TABLETS: PetArmor broad spectrum dewormer comes in chewable tablets, making it easy and convenient to give to your dog
- HOW TO USE: Watch your dog for a few minutes after dosing to make sure the chewable dog dewomer is not rejected and the full dose of dewormer is eaten
- RECOMMENDED USE: For best results with any PetArmor dog dewormer read and follow label intructions. If you need to retreat your dog, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian and have them perform a fecal test to rule out any other issues or parasites
- 5-count bottle of tapeworm dewormer for dogs
- Easy, effective way to remove common tapeworms from dogs
- Tablets may be crumbled and mixed with food or taken by mouth
- Tapeworm dewormer for dogs will remove the common tapeworms, Dipylidium caninum and Taenia pisiformis, from dogs and puppies
- For use in dogs over 4 weeks of age
- 3-count bottle of tapeworm dewormer for cats
- Easy effective way to remove common tapeworms in cats
- Tablets may be crumbled and mixed with food or taken by mouth
- Tapeworm Dewormer for Cats will remove the common tapeworms, Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaeformis, from cats and kittens
- For use in cats over 6 weeks of age
- Easy-to-give beef-flavored chewable tablet
- Broad-spectrum dewormer
- Effective against tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms and whipworms
- For use in dogs over 4 weeks of age
- Warning: Keep out of reach of children
- Safe-Guard treats against Tapeworms, Roundworms, Hookworms, and Whipworms
- Easy to feed granules that mix into food
- Safe for young puppies over the age of 6 weeks, pregnant dogs, and heartworm infected dogs
- Must be administered for 3 consecutive days and is effective for 6 months
- Each package contains three 2-gram pouches
- For Further Reading
- How Long Does It Take For Worms To Leave A Dog?
- Can I Get Worms From My Dog Sleeping In My Bed?
- Live Worms In Dog Poop After Deworming?
- How Long Will A Cat Have Diarrhea After Deworming?
Worm infections can make pets suffer severely in many cases. Thus, pet parents need to prevent most parasites and eliminate all the circumstances that can cause the infection.
Consider keeping your place safe from pet feces at all costs. While one pet is suffering from any parasitical infection, it is likely your other pet, too, might catch it. Thus, consider keeping the already suffering pet separate until he recovers.
Also, treat all your all pets in the house with year-round monthly flea and heartworm preventatives. Then, ask your Vet for deworming drugs and follow on the same.
Also, in case you observe even minor signs of parasite infection in your pet, consider taking their stool for diagnosis quickly. It is important to treat the infection in its initial stage as once it starts growing, the suffering and treatment become critical