Can Humans Catch Tapeworm From Cats?

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionIf your cat or dog has worms can you get them? And how? (Jenna - California)


Tapeworms can infect humans so regular worming programs should be carried out. Diplidium caninum is a segmented tapeworm and may be seen on the cat's coat, bedding and anus. These can cause anal irritation and excessive licking of this area. These tapeworms are spread by the ingestion of fleas. To treat this infection, you must also treat the flea infestation.

Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that lives in the Intestine and this will infect other mammals, such as dogs, cats and humans. It invades the muscle tissue and form cysts in the host. Cats can be infected by eating meat which is infected. There is no sign of infection unless it is severe. Symptoms of a severe infection are high temperature, vomiting, pneumonia and heart and liver disease. If transmitted, this can be very dangerous in pregnant women. Seek you vet and your family doctor immediately when an infection is suspected.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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