Toxocariasis is a parasitic roundworm infection that mostly affects animals. Infection is caused by the larvae of roundworms often found in the intestines of cats (Toxocara cati) and dogs (Toxocara canis). The animals excrete worm eggs. You may develop the illness if you receive poop, sand, or soil contaminated with the eggs in your mouth. Toxocariasis is an uncommon but severe condition.


The two main types of toxocariasis are:

  • Ocular toxocariasis. Toxocara larvae enter your eye and cause ocular toxocariasis. It has the potential to cause permanent eyesight loss. This infection is also known as ocular larva migrans.
  • Visceral toxocariasis. When Toxocara larvae enter your body, they cause visceral toxocariasis. This might involve your liver, lungs, and nervous system. The infection is also known as visceral larva migrans.


Most individuals with toxocariasis have no symptoms and may be unaware that they have the condition. You may encounter the following symptoms if you get visceral toxocariasis:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rash
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Fever
  • Wheezing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Enlarged liver
  • Pneumonia

Ocular toxocariasis normally affects just one eye. Ocular toxocariasis symptoms may include:

  • Vision problems
  • Retina scarring and damage
  • Eye redness and pain


Toxocariasis will be diagnosed through a physical examination by your healthcare professional. They may inquire about your symptoms and potential exposure to Toxocara larvae. Your doctor may order a blood test to look for signs of toxocariasis.

Moreover, a blood test will detect Toxocara antibodies in your blood. Antibodies are proteins produced by your immune system to assist in the protection of your body against illness.


If you don’t have symptoms, you usually don’t need to be treated for toxocariasis. The infection usually disappears on its own. If the illness is severe, avoid home treatments for intestinal parasites. Instead, contact your healthcare practitioner. They may suggest an antiparasitic medication such as mebendazole or albendazole. These medications will kill the worms.

Ocular toxocariasis treatment recommendations may include steps to avoid lasting eye damage. Your healthcare practitioner may recommend a corticosteroid. They may refer you to an ophthalmologist for therapy. You may need surgery to remove the worms or repair any visual issues.

Related Articles


Overview and FactsTypes and SymptomsDiagnosis & MedicationsOverview and Facts Familial alobar holoprosencephaly, also known as cyclopia, is an uncommon and [...]


Overview and FactsTypes and SymptomsDiagnosis & MedicationsOverview and Facts Nystagmus benign paroxysmal positional is the most common cause of vertigo [...]


Overview and FactsTypes and SymptomsDiagnosis & MedicationsOverview and Facts Noninfectious uveitis is when one or both of your eyes experience [...]