“I found this on my bathroom floor”, writes this reader about the strange-looking, yellow creature pictured below. “I’m unsure if it came from a person, a cat, or a drain. We’ve all had some illness and my dad, whom I care for due to brain atrophy, had a stomach/bathroom issue earlier that day. This was found all by itself, however, on the bathroom floor. Can it be identified? Also, obviously the photo is zoomed in. I believe it measured around an inch long. Also, if it matters, I live in rural south Texas on the San Marcos river and have many livestock and wildlife in my yard and around me, as well as cats that stay inside and had an infestation of fleas but finally got rid of them completely!”
Right off the bat, we will unfortunately have to tell our reader that we will not be able to identify the worm-like organism in the photo. The reason for this is because our reader mentions a possible relationship between the worm’s discovery and the health of her father. As such, the situation is potentially medical in nature. Since we are not medical professionals, we are neither qualified nor legally able to identify worms that negatively impact people’s, and animal’s, health. Identifying such organisms is akin to providing a medical diagnosis, which only a medical professional can do.
That said, what we can do is point our reader, and her father, in the direction of some resources through which she can find qualified help. Naturally, she can take her father to his primary care doctor, but unfortunately a lot of our past readers have not had much luck consulting their own primary care doctors about worm-related issues: they have been turned away or labeled delusional, and we do not wish the same experience on our reader and her father. We instead recommend consulting a medical parasitologist: a physician who specializes in parasitic infections. We are not saying that this is a parasitic infection, but that is exactly what a medical parasitologist would be able to confirm. If this was the case, then they can provide an accurate diagnosis and the proper treatment.
To find a medical parasitologist, our reader can do one or more of the following:
1) Search for a medical parasitologist in south Texas using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory.
2) Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist south Texas” or “tropical medicine specialist south Texas”.
3) Get in touch with Dr. Omar Amin at the Parasitology Center at https://www.parasitetesting.com.
We should note that Dr. Amin is available for online consultation, so our reader does not need to be in the vicinity of his physical offices to get help! We also want to add that, since our reader mentions a cat, she might want to take the cat to the vet to get it checked for parasites.
In conclusion, we are not able to identify the worm in this case, given that it may require medical attention. We hope nonetheless that we were able to help in some way, and we wish our reader, as well as her father and her cat, the very best.
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