Sadly, these colorful treats are not the focus of this article. (and we will save you from the nasty visuals)
There are many parasitic agents that our furry friends are susceptible to, but a recently emerging problem is the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis.
E. multilocularis is a small worm carried by canines. With wild coyotes and foxes being a large concern for our pets.
Both cats and dogs can become infected with E. multilocularis if they come into contact with feces of an infected animal, commonly from a coyote. While the infection is typically asymptomatic in our pets, it can be passed on to humans and cause major health problems. These problems are mainly focused on the liver, and often lead to the formation of cysts in the liver.
Once humans become infected with E.multilocularis, it is very challenging to treat. So prevention is the main focus of management strategies for the disease. In order to prevent infection of our pets by E. multilocularis, it is important to carefully monitor pets when they are in areas that may be contaminated by coyote feces, and follow an appropriate deworming schedule based on lifestyle. In order to keep ourselves safe, it is important to carefully wash hands after handling pets, and not consuming any food which may be contaminated with canine feces. Talk to your vet about deworming to keep you and your pets safe.