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a helminthiasis occurring primarily in the young of dogs, foxes, arctic foxes, cats, and other carnivores. It is caused by large nematodes (roundworms) of the genus Toxocara, up to 10–18 cm in length, which infest the small intestine. Dogs are infested by T. canis, and cats by T. mystax. The parasites’ eggs are excreted in the feces, and the hatched larvae infest both the carnivorous hosts and such intermediate hosts as mammals (including man), birds, and earthworms.
Entering the intestine of the host together with food or water, the larvae hatch and proceed to the lungs by way of the blood vessels. From there they are carried by the blood into the muscles and other organs, including the placenta. The larvae develop into sexually mature Toxocara in the intestine; the complete developmental cycle lasts 26–28 days.
Puppies and kittens are generally infested prenatally; the infested animals develop gastritis. Toxocariasis is treated with an-thelminthics. Infestation is prevented by keeping the animals’ quarters scrupulously clean and by treating infested animals.
V. G. GAGARIN