Threadworms and pinworms are intestinal parasites than can infect household pets, such as dogs and cats, as well as humans. Threadworms infect their hosts by burrowing into the skin, travelling to the lungs and down the trachea. Pinworms infections typically start with the host inadvertently consuming the eggs, usually by a child placing a hand or finger inside its mouth, or an animal licking the eggs from its paw. Pinworm eggs are so small that they can also be inhaled and start their life cycle in the lungs. Both threadworms and pinworms will pass in stool, and diagnosis is often made by a doctor or veterinarian examining a stool sample.
Notice the symptoms of threadworm infestation. Look for skin irriataion at the site where the worms enter the body. An intermittent cough can also be a sign of infection. Observe stool samples for chronic diarrhoea, which can result from the worms in the colon.
Take a stool sample to your doctor or veterinarian. The stool sample will be examined under a microscope for threadworm larvae.
Treat the threadworm infection with prescribed medication. Pinworms are typically treated with thiabendazole or ivermectin.
Observe any intense anal itching. Pinworms lay their eggs in the folds of skin around the anus, and once the eggs hatch, the larvae will squirm about and cause itching.
Place a piece of transparent tape on the skin just to the outside of the anus. Lift the tape to collect any pinworm eggs present. Perform the tape test for three consecutive mornings before taking the tape to a doctor.
Take the tape and a stool sample to your doctor. The doctor will examine the tape and stool sample for pinworms and their eggs.
Treat the pinworm infection with the recommended dosage of mebendazole, pyrantel pamoate or albendazole.
Things you need
- Stool samples
- Clear tape
- Thiabendazole or Ivermectin (for threadworms)
- Mebendazole, pyrantel pamoate, or albendazole (for pinworms)