Are Rabbit Pinworms Transferable to Dogs?by Deborah Lundin
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.
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 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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