Hydatid disease



A disease, also known as cystic echinococcosis, that is caused by tapeworms.


Hydatid disease is caused by Echinococcus granulosus tapeworms. Infected dogs often spread the worms. A dog can become infected by eating home-slaughtered sheep or other livestock. Dog stool that contains worm eggs can taint food, water or soil that a person ingests. Petting or handling an infected dog with stool in its fur also raises the risk.


Hydatid disease symptoms can include pain in the upper stomach area or chest, vomiting, and coughing. Symptoms may not start for years after infection, because the tapeworms don't cause problems until they grow larger. They grow in sacs called cysts, usually in the liver or lungs. If a cyst breaks, it can lead to allergic reactions or even death.


Hydatid disease treatments include medicine that helps kill parasites along with a procedure that uses a needle to drain and treat cysts containing tapeworms. Sometimes, surgery is needed to remove cysts. If surgery is done, medicine may be prescribed to keep the cysts from coming back.