What You Need to Know About Pinworms

Pinworm infection is one of the most common intestinal parasitic infections that affect humans in North America. Pinworm infection occurs most often in children, especially those attending school or daycare facilities.

Infection occurs by ingesting (swallowing) infective pinworm eggs that are present on fingers, under fingernails, bedding, clothing and other contaminated objects.The cause of a pinworm infection is the parasitic worm Enterobius vermicularis – the entire lifecycle of this parasite occurs in the human gastrointestinal tract, where it lives from an ingested egg to an adult worm. (Read more about Roundworms in Cats)

A common question we are often asked in clinic, is can my child contract pinworm from the family pet? The simple answer is NO – *Dogs and cats do not get pinworms*. They do not act as a source of infection for people, simply put your child cannot get pinworms from the family pet.

If you think your child has a pinworm infection – contact your family physician for treatment and containment options.

Written by Fairmont Animal Hospital