Are Rabbit Pinworms Transferable to Dogs?

by Victoria Lee Blackstone
    Rabbit pinworms are species specific and unable to transfer to dogs.

    Rabbit pinworms are species specific and unable to transfer to dogs.

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    Pinworms, or Passalurus ambiguus, are a rabbit-specific intestinal worm that typically does not cause any symptoms to the rabbit. If symptoms do occur, they include itching, skin inflammation and redness in the anal area. Because pinworms are rabbit-specific, they are unable to spread to a dog. However, pinworms are often confused with another parasitic worm, the tapeworm. Tapeworms are transferrable between species.

    Pinworms

    Various different pinworms exist and are species specific. Passalurus ambiguus infects rabbits; Enterobius vermicularis infects humans; Syphacia obvelata infects hamsters and Oxyuris equi infects horses.

    Tapeworms

    Tapeworms are small, segmented intestinal worms. The most common tapeworm found in dogs is the Dipylidium caninum and spreads through fleas. During grooming and licking, a dog ingests infected fleas and tapeworm larvae. The other tapeworm species, Taenid pisiformis, infects rabbits and other small rodents. These tapeworms spread to dogs when a dog ingests an infected animal or infected animal feces.

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    About the Author

    Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist who propagates heirloom and native plants for her nursery. She has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, plant care sheets and magazine and newspaper articles. Blackstone studied botany and microbiology at Clemson University and is a former University of Georgia Extension Master Gardener Coordinator.

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