July 18, 2008,
A.S. asks from Prairieville, LA on July 16, 2008
Does a Pet with Worms = Children with Worms?
I just noticed my pet has worms, and I plan on having him treated asap. I have small children in the house, and I was wondering how likely is it that they have worms also? Do I have to go to a Dr. to find out? Can I get something over the counter to treat or prevent worms in children? I remember my mom getting pills for us to treat worms when I was a kid a long time ago, but I haven't seen anything like that in the store since I have been an adult. Any advice is welcome. YES! THEY ARE THE SMALL ONES ABOUT THE SIZE OF RICE. WHEN I TOOK HIM OUT TO GO POO TODAY I SAW ONE.
L.B. answers from Fayetteville on July 17, 2008
I use grapefruit seed extract - just once or twice - and that seems to do it. Not sure if it's safe for dogs, though I admit to using it in the past. Much healthier than the stuff they prescribe (for people or pets).
Yes, pets with worms often = kids with worms. Licking faces, or petting snouts then sticking hands in cookie jars, etc. Hard to avoid.
You can check by shining a flashlight down under after kids have gone to bed.
1 mom found this helpful
K.W. answers from Oklahoma City on July 17, 2008
S.R. answers from Tulsa on July 17, 2008
I'd talk to the kids' doctor just to be safe. If I remember correctly, the type you're talking about (the small rice size ones) are caused by fleas. So, in addition to treating the dog, you might treat your house for fleas too. Hope this is helpful. We have three dogs ourselves, and that's something I'm always on the watch for. Let me know what your doctor says, in case that happens to us.
S.L. answers from Lake Charles on July 17, 2008
I guess anything is possible. If I were you, I think I would surely check the children if the animal sleeps in the beds or around the children. I do not have house pets, so I am at a lose with this one, but curious. I guess I was very lucky, because my children never had worms. Believe me, I checked them often with a flashlight because they played outside a lot.
Let us know the outcome.
M.M. answers from Huntsville on July 17, 2008
Yes, the rice sized worms you saw probably were the egg sacks of tapeworms. And most importantly, yes, humans can have them too -- but obviously not as often -- we are not the natural host. (This is why I do not let dogs or cats lick my face -- they lick their hinnys because they itch and then lick my face? I DON'T THINK SO!)
I don't know if doctors would treat for these unless the child was showing symptoms. Lots of pets get them (fleas are the carrier) and I haven't heard of children being treated -- but it may fall into same category as "dirty"?.
Please don't confuse these worms with the pinworms (and dogs are not hosts for these) that a lot of children get in preschool or elementary school (which is probably what you had as a child). Those symptoms are never sitting still -- wiggling around on chairs -- and the nose always itches. Pinworms come out at night around the anal openig when your child is sleeping (if the child has them bad enough you can see them when they poop). You can go into their bedroom, spread their "cheeks", and see the worms (use a flashlight!). Doctors usually send moms home with what the lab calls a scotch tape test....
When you shake the sheets in the morning, not realizing your child has the pinworms, the eggs fly all over and then, you too, can get them. BEEN THERE, DONE THAT! Very contagious...
You breathe the eggs in, they find their way to the intestine.
Well, more than you wanted to know. Perhaps one of the other mothers has had actual experience with "dog" worms.
I just read some of the other responses to your question.
Pinworms are not the same as tapeworms, although the outcome (rice) looks the same. I could give you the Latin names and life cycles .... and yes, one mother was correct in saying that if your child runs around barefoot, you could get worms -- those would be hookworms. But the yard has to be very infested, conditions just right, etc. Lots of things "out there" that just love us -- but not much stuff gets us, thank goodness!
K.M. answers from Tulsa on July 17, 2008
From what little I remember about my college parasitology class, your kids would have to be practically eating the dog's poop to be getting worms. However, they can be passed by fleas and mosquitoes too and be in the soil. I know you can buy over-the-counter pin worm medication in my small Kansas town but I've only seen it in the locally run pharmacies...not the big box stores. If your kids start scratching their bottoms, getting the runs or look bloated then you have cause for concern.
A.C. answers from Lawton on July 17, 2008
When you child goes you will be able to see them, if they go in the potty look for tiny bubbles. I know it is gross but chances reif you see them then they have them. the doc will gie you meds for them. I think they are called pin worms. Hope that helped.
N.M. answers from Texarkana on July 17, 2008
are the worms white and kinda wide flat ? if they are it is tape worms and you deed to treat the dog for fleas and keep the dog on the flea treatment cause if it gets fleas it will get the worms again as far as your child getting them you should ask you vet and your doctor good luck by the w3ay the reason that your dog gets worms from the fleas is because the dog bites the fleas and swallows some of the fleas sorry I didn't think it could be a cat same thing but you need to get a flea control for cats and you need to get either one of the flea controls from a vet cause the over the counter don't work they just take your money
L.M. answers from Little Rock on July 16, 2008
I am not a professional or vet but have been around animals my whole life that have worms. As far as I know, tape worm is what can spread to child as well. The type of worms that animals have usually look like earthworms and do not spread to humans easily. I would keep the children away from the animals until the animals are treated properly. I would ask the vet also about children and do they spread. He/she will be able to answer that question. Also tape worms come out at night during sleeping time. So, if your kids have tape worms, you'll be able to tell late at night during their sleeping. I wouldn't worry about that though because getting tape worms is like being in a bad hygiene environment. Your kids would have to be sucking their thumbs or fingers being nasty dirty from not washing their hands after using the bathroom...etc.
Good luck, take your animals to the vet and make sure to ask about the kids.
A.M. answers from Lawton on July 16, 2008
I've been told that if you have outside animals and if your kids play outside barefoot, that it's a given the kids have worms. :(
C.C. answers from Huntsville on July 17, 2008
I can't remember what the worms are named, but they are caused by your pet eating an infected flea, (i worked as a vet tech a few years ago) Your children can only get them if they eat your pets feces. You can go to the vet and get pills for it, don't get sucked in to buy all this other stuff for prevention. The pills work fine and only need one dose. The best way to get rid of the problem is to eliminate the fleas (easier said than done) but a common problem with most homes. Hope this helps you worry less....good luck
B.L. answers from New Orleans on July 18, 2008
That sounds like tape worms. Which your pet can get from ingesting fleas. So you want to treat him for worms and for fleas. It is unlikely that your child will get tape worms from the pet, but other type of worms are possible for him/her to get. The best thing to do is the get the worm treatment that kills all types of worms. If your pet is on a heartworm preventative that takes care all worms except tape worms. Because again tapeworms are usually caused from the ingestion of fleas. Even if you are treating your pet for fleas, all it takes is for him to ingest one flea and he can get the tape worms.
K.T. answers from Tulsa on July 17, 2008
Those are tapeworms. It is unlikely that your children have them unless they have eaten some of them or some of your pet's fleas. That is the only way to transmit tapeworms, either by eating fleas or the tapeworm eggs which are the rice like things in your pets poop.
As far as treating the children. I would check with your doctor if you suspect they may have eaten some of the tapeworm eggs. They are easily treatable with a pill.
S.S. answers from Lawton on July 17, 2008
Unless they handled the poo and then put their hands in their mouth it's pretty unlikely that your children have worms. Your vet should be able to tell you what kind they are and then you can see if that species even lives in humans.
E.R. answers from New Orleans on July 17, 2008
I am a veterinarian! These do indeed sound like tapeworms and yes, they can be transmitted to humans but not terribly easily. You've gotten some good advice here about pinworms and hookworms, there are also roundworms which children can get. I want to stress though, that there are some things you can do for your DOG that can help prevent transmission. The easiest thing is to keep your pets on regular monthly heartworm (not transmissible and carried by mosquitos) preventative that also prevents gastrointestinal parasites like hookworms and roundworms. Heartguard plus and Sentinel are two very common ones on the market. You should purchase these medications only from your veterinarian and your dog should be checked for heartworms yearly. These medications can be lifesaving for your pet! (and yes, cats get heartworms too, though they are not the usual host). Dogs get tapeworms from eating infected fleas, and it is a completely different medication to treat this parasite. It is easy and can be given as a pill, though I usually recommend giving a second dose 2-3 weeks after the first. If you keep your yard well picked up (scoop poop EVERY day ) and faithfully treat your pets for internal and external parasites you can be fairly assured that your family is safe. Your child will be more likely to pick up worms at the park or in the sandbox (cats LOVE to use sandboxes and carry all these same parasites!) than from your own, well protected, well cleaned yard.
A.D. answers from Oklahoma City on July 16, 2008
I do know that if you have a pet with worms that you should not let your children play in areas where they go to the bathroom. I think it depends on the type of worms but I would contact your pediatrician with any concerns and see what he or she says.
A.B. answers from Fayetteville on July 16, 2008
If your pet has worms that come out in the feces and look like rice grains, your children can only 'catch' the worms if they eat them. These types of worms are caused by flea larvae on your pets, so when you get your pet treated, make sure that you also treat your pet for fleas. Don't worry about your kids. They will be fine. :)
I freaked out when we adopted a pet a few years ago with these types of worms. The veterinarian was such a sweetheart and explained all of this to me. Any kind of parasite is gross, so I completely understand your concern. I have been there!