Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

Pet Family

Worm Infection in Prairie Dogs

Roundworm and Tapeworm Infections in Prairie Dogs

 

Of all the gastrointestinal parasites affecting prairie dogs, infection with the roundworm Bayisascaris procyonis is considered to be one of the most serious, as it can infect human beings too. Prairie dogs, however, are not the original host for this parasite. They get the infection from raccoons by eating feed contaminated with raccoon droppings. In prairie dogs, the larvae of this parasite may migrate to the central nervous system; which could lead to paralysis and eventually, coma and death. Tapeworm infection is also another gastrointestinal parasite found in prairie dogs.

 

There is no effective treatment for Bayisascaris procyonis infection in prairie dogs and hence prevention by following appropriate husbandry and adequate sanitation practices is vital. Tapeworm infections, meanwhile, are often counteracted by using proper anthelminthic drugs and maintaining good hygiene.

 

Symptoms

 

  • Loss of coordination
  • Head tilting
  • Loss of balance
  • Inability to stand up
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Paralysis
  • Coma

 

Causes

 

Baylisascaris procyonis is a roundworm normally found in raccoons. Prairie dogs get it by eating feed contaminated with raccoon droppings containing the eggs of this roundworm. There are many different types of tapeworms, but the transmission of the parasite typically occurs through ingestion of contaminated water and feed.

 

Diagnosis

 

If your prairie dog is exhibiting unusual nervous system reactions, your veterinarian may suspect a roundworm infection. Confirmation of the diagnosis is then made by microscopically examining the animal’s fecal samples. Tapeworm infections are also diagnosed with fecal examinations.

 

Comments  0

Leave Comment

Related Articles

Plague Infection in Prairie Dogs
Plague is a disease that can occur in several species of animals, including rodents...
READ MORE
Tapeworms in Gerbils
Endoparasitic Worm Infection   Tapeworms belong to a category...
READ MORE
Roundworms in Chinchillas
Much like in other animals, endoparasite worms are a common problem in chinchillas....
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»

PETMD POLL

What do you use to prevent ticks from feeding on your pet?

Around the Web

MORE FROM PETMD.COM