What You Should Know About Pinworms

Pinworms have been a common concern among parents of school-aged children for years. Accidental ingestion or inhalation of the eggs is how people become infected.

Once the eggs are ingested, they mature over a period of four to six weeks. Mature pinworms will move out of the person’s rectum and lay eggs around the anus during periods of rest (usually while a person is sleeping). It is the eggs, and sometimes the movement of the worms, which causes itching in affected people.

Horses can be infected with a different species of pinworm. The lifecycle of the pinworm is similar; the main difference being the much longer period of maturation.

The good news is that pinworms are species specific. Enterobius vermicularis (human pinworm) will only infect humans. Oxyuris equi (horse pinworm) will only infect horses. These parasites cannot be transmitted to dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs or other pets you may have.

Regular deworming of your pet is important because there are parasites they can ingest outside of the home that can make them ill or that can be transmitted to people.

If you have any questions or concerns about parasite prevention, please call our hospital at 204-269-8162.

Written By: Tara Serette, RVT