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Nasty, foot-long parasitic worms make leap from wildlife to U.S. domestic cats

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posted on Mar, 1 2014 @ 03:32 PM

A species of invasive, parasitic worm normally only found in wildlife has begun to infect domestic cats, say veterinarians. A bulletin from the Cornell University Press reported on Thursday that the foot-long Dracunculus insignis worm has been found in cats in the northeastern U.S. rather than in their normal hosts, raccoons and other wild mammals.

As if I didn't have enough to worry about! I live in a semi rural area with lots of critters all over the place. If my little cat "mr. cutie" got a parisite; how long would it be till I got it as well? Mr cutie likes to rub all over my face and licks my nose. Just thinking about a foot long parasite in my guts really creeps me out.

posted on Mar, 1 2014 @ 05:04 PM
I am guessing that the normal arsenal of dewormers still work. If you don't do that, outdoor cats get tapeworms and roundworms pretty often anyway. Just take care of your cats and you should be fine. I am guessing the concern is that fact that they are winding up in cats at all as apparently they aren't the normal host, but I haven't seen anything implying that treatment is different.

posted on Mar, 1 2014 @ 05:49 PM
Well, that's just wonderful.
No drug cure is available...the only think you can do is keep your cat in ....or....if outdoors never let him indoors:

There is no drug treatment for the worms, which must be removed surgically from humans and animals alike.

“Although rare in cats, this worm may be common in wildlife and the only way to protect animals from it is to keep them from drinking unfiltered water and from hunting,” said Lucio-Forster. “In other words, keep them indoors.”

posted on Mar, 1 2014 @ 09:05 PM
I always found it safer and healthier to have my cats as indoor cats. They all lived very long and happy lives.

I wonder why they are now found in cats when they wern't before.

posted on Mar, 2 2014 @ 04:16 AM
Where can I get three of these worms?

posted on Mar, 2 2014 @ 04:28 AM
Here's my story , i work in ALASKA During the salmon season .. On a processor , and my first year i kept noticing these white stringing things hanging out of the rear ends of the fish that were on table. So while running the gutting machine i decided to take my gutting knife and have a poke at it ,my first thought is that it was guts ( this was my first season working with salmon) so i went to scoop up this 5 foot long string thing . And to my surprise it retracted back into the fish!!! So i gutted the fish and pulled out a hand full.of what i later found out were tape worms!!!

Heres the sad part ,i see these worms in 3 out of five fish i process , they freez the fish right after they are gutted and cleaned WITH WATER . Apparently the blast freezer kills any type of they say...and this is a big big seafood company you all know

Fresh ALASKAN salmon anyone ?

posted on Mar, 2 2014 @ 07:21 AM

Just to calm the panic, it was 2 cats...ever. It has been found in dogs and humans before, and is apparently relatively harmless (albeit disgusting).

The Journal of Feline Medicine published a paper titled “First Report of Dracunculus Insignis in Two Naturally Infected Cats from the Northeastern USA” in its February issue.

Dracunculus worms are found all over the globe and infect a wide variety of host animals, incuding humans.

Prior to the new feline infections, Dracunculus insignis was only found in raccoons and other wild animals and, in some rare cases, dogs.

The worms do little direct harm to the host except for the shallow lesion where they come through the skin.

heartworm in dogs is far more insidious, yet many people do not keep their dogs solely indoors or even treat for heartworm. This is literally on par with the likelihood of your cat getting eaten by a shark. I wouldn't lose a seconds sleep about it after looking into it. Pretty gross to think about though.

posted on Mar, 2 2014 @ 12:32 PM
reply to post by Halfswede

In that case, I won't be needing the worms.
Thanks for the shark idea though.

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