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Is your dog a health hazard? - Hydatid Disease

Dr Sampurna Roy MD               


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Is your dog a health hazard?   Dr Sampurna Roy MD  

"A dog is a man's best friend". Today's story is about a dangerous infectious disease that can harm you and your best friend.

- Hydatid Disease




Adult Echinococcus Granulosus (Tapeworm) resides in the small intestine of the dog. 

Scolex attaches to the intestine wall.

Dog is the definitive host.



 The dog passes embryonated eggs in the feces.        



The sheep while grazing, ingests the eggs in the feces and gets infected. The sheep is the intermediate host.

The eggs transforms to hydatid cyst inside the sheep.                     



The infected meat containing hydatid cyst is again eaten by the dog. The cycle continues.                                                                        


The boy was playing with the same dog and got infected with the tapeworm eggs.

He is also an intermediate host. 

The egg hatches inside the small intestine and releases an onchosphere that penetrates the intestinal wall and through the blood stream migrates to various organs like lung, liver, brain and kidney.




In these organs the onchosphere develops into hydatid cysts.


The hydatid cysts contain numerous scolices provided with hooklets.

These scolices represent the future head of the adult tapeworm.

Pathology of Echinococcosis (Hydatid Disease)


This is a story to raise awareness about Hydatid Disease among dog owners.

Consult your vet and schedule a regular checkup of your dog. Make sure that the dog does not defecate in the children's playground. Maintain your personal hygiene. It is important to wash your hands after playing with dogs.

In human, symptoms may take a long time to develop as hydatid disease progresses slowly. The disease is fatal in most untreated patients and in a significant percentage of those treated with surgery.

Contact your doctor immediately for advice and treatment.


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