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Hydatid Disease

Return to Other Wildlife Diseases

 

Caution

Commonly infected wildlife

Canines

Cervids

 

Is this animal infected?

  • Adult worms live and grow in infected dog and wild canine (wolf and coyote) intestines
  • Infected cervids often have large fluidfilled cysts in lungs or liver – these cysts are NOT infectious to people

Hydatid Disease

Can I get it?

Yes

  • Dogs and wild canines eat cysts of cervid lungs and liver, and worms mature
  • The worms release eggs in dog and wild canine feces, and eggs stick to their fur
  • The shed eggs can infect people

How bad can it get?

Danger
Gets worse with time and depends on organ affected

Protect myself and others

  • When handling live canines, their feces, pelts or carcasses:
    • Wear disposable gloves
    • Practice good hygiene
      • WASH YOUR HANDS!
      • Disinfect your work space

Wear Gloves

Wash Hands

 

Symptoms in humans

  • Severity of symptoms depends on if and where the juvenile worms form cysts:
    • Brain – death
    • Lungs – breathing difficulties
    • Abdomen – liver damage
  • Consult your doctor if you have health concerns after handling wolf or coyote carcasses

Safe for pets?

Not safe for pets

No

  • Cysts found in cervids can infect pet dogs
  • Once infected, pet dogs can be a source of infection to you and your family
 

DO NOT ALLOW dogs access to lungs and liver from cervids

What causes it?

  • The tapeworms Echinococcus granulosus and Echinococcus multilocularis