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Crit Rev Microbiol. 1997;23(3):233-51.

Aspects of Toxocara epidemiology: toxocarosis in dogs and cats.

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  • 1Virbac Nederland B.V., Barneveld, The Netherlands.


Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati are common roundworms of dogs and cats. In this review the life cycles of these parasites are described, including the various routes of transmission, such as transplacental, transmammary infection, and infection through paratenic hosts. The somatic and tracheal migration in the body of the hosts after infection with Toxocara eggs or larvae is discussed, with special reference to age resistance and differences between dog and cat. The clinical symptoms and pathology in adult and young dogs and cats are given. Diagnosis of patent infections can be obtained by fecal examination, and treatment consists of the use of anthelmintics. Control of the infection and disease is achieved by prevention of contamination of the environment, anthelmintic treatment strategy, and education. Special attention is given to the efficacy of anthelmintics against adult worms and against somatic larvae. It is concluded that education on the life cycles of the parasites, hygiene, and anthelmintic treatment schedules is required because of the zoonotic risks of Toxocara spp. Deworming of pregnant dogs and cats is not recommended.

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