Helminthic therapy for pets

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Helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. for pets

There has been some discussion in the Helminthic Therapy Support group about the possible use of this therapy in pets, especially cats and dogs, and there is evidence that helminth products can produce immunomodulatory effects in dogs. [1]

The deworming of animals can have similar adverse consequences to those seen in humans. For example it has been suggested that the routine deworming of dogs may be contributing to allergies, inflammation and autoimmune disease in these animals, in the same way that the loss of helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] has led to these conditions in humans.

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I just want to caution everyone that unless you have seen an infestation of worm eggs or larvaeThe active immature form of an insect, or an animal such as a helminth, which develops from an egg and eventually transforms again into its adult state. on a slide done from a fecal float and your dogs are presenting with symptoms of a worm infestation, please - do NOT just routinely worm you dogs. Believe it or not, routine worming is being found to cause auto-immune deficiencies and diseases in our pets! [2]

The use of anthelminthic treatments in dogs has also resulted in the appearance of a multidrug-resistant strain of the canine hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin., A. caninum, [3] and, in horses, the removal of adult cyathostomins has led to an altered faecal microbiotaThe specific population of microorganisms living in a certain part of the body, such as the gut. "Microbiome" refers to all the microorganisms living in and on the body, or the genome of these microorganisms. These two terms are often used interchangeably. and the promotion of an inflammatory phenotype.

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... we have observed significant indications of changes in the equine gut microbiomeAll the microorganisms living in and on the body, or the genome of these microorganisms. "Microbiota" refers to the specific population of microorganisms living in a certain part of the body, such as the gut. These two terms are often used interchangeably. associated with anthelmintic treatment. These changes were associated with an inflammatory response and could be an indication of the immunoregulatory effects of cyathostomins either directly or through manipulation of bacterial microbiotaThe specific population of microorganisms living in a certain part of the body, such as the gut. "Microbiome" refers to all the microorganisms living in and on the body, or the genome of these microorganisms. These two terms are often used interchangeably.. [4]

Obviously, this is a topic that pet owners will want to discuss with their veterinarian/veterinary surgeon but, even when it is decided to worm a pet periodically, it is still possible for it to benefit from the immune modulation provided by therapeutic helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths]. For example, dogs can be given worming medicine just before they are due to receive a fresh dose of a therapeutic helminthAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths]. This way, they and their owners will be protected against the possibility of a disease caused by pathogenic worms, but there will only be a minimal break in the benefits afforded by whichever symbioticSymbiosis is a close, long-term relationship between organisms of different species. Helminths are obligatory symbionts because they depend entirely on their host for survival, and they are also ectosymbionts because they live on their host’s body surface, albeit the inner surface of the digestive tract. The species used in helminthic therapy are also mutualists. helminth is being used.

Potentially appropriate species

Four species of helminth have been suggested as possibly being suitable for use in pets.

Hymenolepis diminutaA murine (rat) tapeworm used in helminthic therapy that generally does not mature in humans and is taken as cysticerci (HDC) in a drink every 2 or 3 weeks. (HDCHymenolepis diminuta cysticercoids (Hi-men-o-lep'is dim-a-nu-ta sis-ti-sur-koid) - the larval cysts of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta)

When someone asked whether H. diminuta cysticercoids (HDCHymenolepis diminuta cysticercoids (Hi-men-o-lep'is dim-a-nu-ta sis-ti-sur-koid) - the larval cysts of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta) might be safe to give to a 6 week old kitten to prevent it developing allergies, etc., an expert in the use of HDCHymenolepis diminuta cysticercoids (Hi-men-o-lep'is dim-a-nu-ta sis-ti-sur-koid) - the larval cysts of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta in humans suggested that this species would indeed be safe for a kitten, and pointed out that HDHymenolepis diminuta, a murine (rat) tapeworm. normally lives in insects and that cats often catch and eat insects without ill effects. HDCHymenolepis diminuta cysticercoids (Hi-men-o-lep'is dim-a-nu-ta sis-ti-sur-koid) - the larval cysts of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta can be purchased from several of the helminth providers and are easy to grow at home.

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I have been giving my dogs HDCHymenolepis diminuta cysticercoids (Hi-men-o-lep'is dim-a-nu-ta sis-ti-sur-koid) - the larval cysts of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta for months now and they are distinctly less chewing on themselves. One in particular that used to whine loudly while chewing her feet is much much better -- about 95%. I have been growing my own beetles and I just give them each one beetle per week, wrapped in butter. [5] [6] (And the following update, one year later.) My dogs seem to be cured of their itch. They haven't had any HDCHymenolepis diminuta cysticercoids (Hi-men-o-lep'is dim-a-nu-ta sis-ti-sur-koid) - the larval cysts of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta for months but no symptom at all. [7]
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I started our 11 year old Labrador, Zeb, on HDCHymenolepis diminuta cysticercoids (Hi-men-o-lep'is dim-a-nu-ta sis-ti-sur-koid) - the larval cysts of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta about 12 months ago to try and see if they could help with arthritic back legs, which was causing a very obvious decrease in strength and mobility. While it is difficult to judge exact response, Zeb's mobility and back leg strength has definitely stabilized - a big change from the very fast deterioration we were observing 12 months ago. While we recognize that Zeb is getting very old for his breed, we are hoping that the HDCHymenolepis diminuta cysticercoids (Hi-men-o-lep'is dim-a-nu-ta sis-ti-sur-koid) - the larval cysts of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta will continue to make his last years more comfortable and enjoyable. 12 months ago it seemed very likely that he would be unable to support his own weight within a very short period and this would be the factor that would shorten his life - but we are now hopeful that Zeb will be able to continue running around the woods and shores for the rest of his life. [8]

Necator americanusThe species of human hookworm used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. (NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus)

N. americanus (NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus) may be suitable for use in dogs. [9]

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… if you want to try anything readily available you could try NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus. It's pretty good adapted to dogs as well. [10]

However, caution is recommended when considering administration of NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus to dogs. NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus is closely related to the dog hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. [11], so it is hypothetically possible that a canine host could expel NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus eggs in its feces. Infective larvaeThe active immature form of an insect, or an animal such as a helminth, which develops from an egg and eventually transforms again into its adult state. could potentially result from even a small amount of dog feces left on soil or grass during warmer months. These larvaeThe active immature form of an insect, or an animal such as a helminth, which develops from an egg and eventually transforms again into its adult state. could infect other animals, and even humans.

Trichuris vulpis

Trichuris vulpis may be appropriate for dogs. [12]

Dipylidium caninum

Dipylidium caninum (also called the flea tapewormA helminth with a flat, ribbon-like, segmented body. Only the murine (rat) tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta, is used in helminthic therapy and this generally does not reach adulthood in humans so requires regular dosing of HDC., double-pored tapewormA helminth with a flat, ribbon-like, segmented body. Only the murine (rat) tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta, is used in helminthic therapy and this generally does not reach adulthood in humans so requires regular dosing of HDC. or cucumber tapewormA helminth with a flat, ribbon-like, segmented body. Only the murine (rat) tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta, is used in helminthic therapy and this generally does not reach adulthood in humans so requires regular dosing of HDC.) may be suitable for dogs and cats [13] but may rarely infect human pet-owners, and especially young children.

Sources of mutualisticMutualism is a type of symbiotic relationship between individuals of different species where each organism benefits from the other. helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths]

Suppliers of HDCHymenolepis diminuta cysticercoids (Hi-men-o-lep'is dim-a-nu-ta sis-ti-sur-koid) - the larval cysts of the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta and NAthe human hookworm, Necator americanus can be found on the following page.

Further reading

This topic has featured in the following discussions.

  • Planning to protect a new puppy’s microbiomeAll the microorganisms living in and on the body, or the genome of these microorganisms. "Microbiota" refers to the specific population of microorganisms living in a certain part of the body, such as the gut. These two terms are often used interchangeably.. [14]
  • Skin problems in dogs. Are helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] the answer? [15]
  • Is veterinary helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. the next big application? [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]

Also of possible interest.

SimpleHTLogo(18x18).gif Helminthic Therapy Wiki: documenting the science, management, experience and results of helminth replacement therapy.