Roundworm Facts

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Roundworm Facts
Roundworm Facts (Image: Kleinbrook Animal Hospital)

Roundworms can be found in either pet or human intestines. There are over 15,000 named species of roundworm, but this number is small in comparison to the unnamed species of roundworm. Roundworms can either be male, female or hermaphroditic. Which means a single roundworm can have male and female organs and can produce its own young. Roundworms are invertebrates and have no backbone. They can vary in size and length and have the ability to cause several diseases.

Size and Symptoms

Roundworms, also known as nematodes, can vary in size dramatically and can range from microscopic up to over 20 feet long. Despite roundworms being able to thrive in just about any organ of the human body, the most common areas for roundworm to be found are within the respiratory, circulatory and alimentary parts of the body. Symptoms of having roundworm can vary, depending on the specific species of roundworm living within the body. Common symptoms are vomiting, stomach pain, eggs found in feces, diarrhea and fever.

Prevention/Solution

Roundworm eggs can be found in soil and animal feces. By simple touch, the eggs of the ringworm can easily be digested without realizing it and can also enter the body through the skin. Always wash your hands thoroughly after working in the garden or with direct contact of soil, fresh water, marine life and feces. When preparing fresh fish or meat, ensure the food is washed to help ensure roundworm eggs are not ingested.

How

Young children are more prone to be infected with roundworm because they often place their hands near or in their mouth without washing them regularly. Once the roundworm egg has entered the intestines, it hatches. The larva is then able to break through the intestine wall and travel through the blood stream to a major organ and continue to grow as well as possibly reproduce. This can cause problems with the chosen organ or organs, leading to dysfunction and disease.

Treatment

A prescribed pyrantel pamoate oral wormer can easily remove roundworm and roundworm eggs from the intestinal area. Usually the oral wormer is prescribed twice weekly for a few weeks, before a feces test is taken to ensure total removal. Direct removal from certain organs may require surgery, depending on the size of the roundworm and damage it has done to the body.

Roundworm Discovered

Roundworms are un-segmented. They have their mouth at one end of their bodies and their anus at the other end. The main body of the roundworm contains its intestines throughout. Apart from that, their bodies are hollow with a body wall that has a couple of different muscle layers.

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