The short answer is yes, many worms infesting dogs are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans. Different worms cause different diseases and each have their own symptoms. So, look after yourself and look out for the signs.
Roundworm eggs can be found in soil wherever dogs have passed faeces. If roundworm eggs are accidently ingested by a human, roundworm larvae can migrate to internal organs, affecting muscles, eyes and the brain. Young children are considered most at risk as they are more likely to play in contaminated areas, place things in their mouths, and are less likely to have ideal hand hygiene.
Hookworm larvae can be picked up if walking barefoot on contaminated sand or soil. The worms migrate through the skin and can cause skin and/or intestinal disease in humans.
In some parts of Australia, hydatid tapeworms can pose serious zoonotic risk. Dogs are infested with this tapeworm by eating raw offal from sheep or native animals carrying this worm. Because of this, it primarily affects rural dogs, or those who scavenge from carcasses. A human can develop hydatid disease if they come into contact with the faeces of a dog infected with this tapeworm. Hydatid disease in humans is a serious condition caused by worm cysts that form in vital organs such as the liver, lungs, and brain.
HOW CAN I CONTROL WORMS IN MY DOG?
Regular deworming keeps your dog healthy and helps protect your family from zoonotic disease. Protect your dog with NexGard SPECTRA. Just one monthly chew controls the most common intestinal worms in dogs – roundworm, hookworm and whipworm, and prevents flea tapeworm infestation. For dogs at risk of hydatid tapeworm, treat with ParaGard for broad-spectrum worming protection.