What is Toxocara?
Toxocara is an infection caused by worms commonly found in the intestines of puppies and older dogs. Toxocara eggs may be present in the faeces of dogs, which have not been treated with worming tablets.
People can become infected with the disease by accidentally swallowing infected dog faeces or soil. Around 100 cases in the UK are diagnosed every year and most of them are children. Toxocara can lead to reduced vision and in extreme cases eventual blindness. It can also produce other symptoms such as fever, cough, wheezing, reduced appetite, itchy swollen red bumps or patches on the skin, abdominal pain and headaches.
How can Toxocara in humans be avoided?
By ensuring owners pick up after their dogs, dog owners can help people not to come in to contact with dogs mess – so please pick it up!
Dog owners should make sure that they always have either a pooper-scooper or plastic bag with them so that they can pick up mess. There are almost 300 dog bins in Hyndburn where the bagged faeces can be disposed of but it can also be disposed of in your own grey bin. If you have bagged it up please use a bin. Do not hang bags in a bush or tree!
Can I put dog faeces in the green recycling bins or a public waste bin?
No. Due to the potential health hazards all dog waste should be treated separately.
It is also important that dog owners get their dogs wormed regularly. It is also advised that people wash their hands after petting, feeding or cleaning up after dogs. Make sure that people, particularly children, wash their hands thoroughly after spending time outside, particularly in parks or gardens.
What do I do if I think my child has come in to contact with dog faeces?
Whilst it is extremely unlikely that your child will contract Toxocara it may be advisable that you seek medical advice, and treatment if necessary. Additional information and advice can be found on the NHS Direct website.
What do I do if I see a dog owner offending on public land?
If you see a dog owner not picking up then you can call the Council and report this to the Dog Warden on 01254 388 111. Please give as much information as possible about the owner, dog and the vehicle, (if one is present).