How Are Roundworms Diagnosed
To diagnose roundworm infection, a small amount of the cat’s stool is mixed in a special solution that causes the eggs to float to the top of the solution. The sample is covered with a glass slide on which the floating eggs will collect, and the slide is examined under a microscope. This is called a fecal floatation.
“The distinctive eggs are easily recognized under the microscope.”
The distinctive eggs are easily recognized under the microscope. Roundworm eggs are usually plentiful but, in some cases, it may take more than one fecal examination to find them. Occasionally, adult roundworms can be found in the cat’s stool or vomit.
What Kinds Of Worms Can My Cat Get
There are quite a few species of worm that love to find a warm home in cats and the most common ones are roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and whipworms.
Less common worms include lungworms, stomach worms, bladder worms, liver flukes and heartworms. Vets dont see these types of worm as often as the top four, but they can cause serious health issues and in rare cases they can be fatal.
Treating Worms In Cats
If your cat does get worms, then your vet will advise you of the best treatment for the type of worm seen. They will usually prescribe a spot -on or oral dewormer which is given to the cat at the time of diagnosis to kill the worms, eggs and larvae right away. They might also recommend a monthly oral or topical treatment to stop them coming back.
It is always best to consult with your vet regarding the best treatment available for the worms that your cat may encounter in the area of the country in which you live. Worms often build up resistance to worming treatments, meaning that many treatments that may easily be purchased over the counter are no longer effective against the worms. There are also risks of contaminating the environment and waterways with these products, so your vet will advise you on what is best for your cat, as well as what is best for protecting the environment.
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What Worms Can Cats Get
The reality is that no matter how careful and how well you take care of your cat, there are some instances that just cant be avoided and could cause them to get worms. Thats why it is important to know what types of worms cats can get and how they might become infected in the first place. Lets look at which types of worms are most likely to infect your cat.
Other Things You Can Do
Worms are a danger for your cat, but also for his environment, including for you! Here are the right things to do to prevent them from contaminating your environment and relieving your kitty:
- Watch your children when they play in the sand as cats may have defecated and deposited worms.
- Always wash your hands after cleaning up the vomit and picking up your cats stool.
- Do not feed your cat raw or undercooked meat.
- Regularly deworm your cat.
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Diagnosis Of Tapeworms Is Confirmed By Finding The Eggs In The Feces Or By Looking At One Of The Tapeworm Segments Under A Microscope
Your veterinarian can perform these tests, along with a full examination, to ensure your pet is otherwise healthy.
If you see the segments at home, you can use a piece of clear tape to preserve a segment. You can also bring in a fecal sample in a clean bag or plastic container. The specific species can be determined with a PCR test at a diagnostic laboratory, though this is not generally necessary in order to treat.
Worms In Cats Symptoms Causes And Treatments
Posted on 08.02.17 by Vetfone
Worms in Cats. Symptoms, Causes and treatments.Worms in cats and kittens are very common, and whilst they might be a concern to owners, they do not usually have serious consequences and are easy to treat.Our guide contains expert advice from qualified and registered veterinary nurses to help you choose the best course of action for your pet and help answer your question does my cat have worms and how do I prevent and treat them? Symptoms of worms & common causes of wormsSymptoms and presenting signs
- Shortness of breath
Worms are very common in cats, with the most frequently seen intestinal types being roundworms and tapeworms. Worms can be picked up in a variety of ways.
- Swallowing larvae from mothers milk
- Eating infected prey
- Having fleas and swallowing them whilst grooming
- Picking up worms or larvae from faeces whilst outside
- Contact with slugs or snails
Tapeworms are transmitted to cats by fleas. Immature fleas ingest the worm eggs and infection is passed on to a dog when it swallows an infected flea. This is one of the reasons why its important to treat your cat for fleas as well as for worms. Roundworm larvae start by infecting a cats intestinal tract, but they can burrow their way into other tissues and organs.
- Worms in older cats
- Worms in younger cats
- Spot-on treatments
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What Is The Treatment For Tapeworms In Cats
Luckily, treatment for cat tapeworms is pretty easy and effective. If your cat is infested, your vet will give you a tapeworm medicine called a dewormer. Typically, dewormers are oral medications, though they can also be given through an injection.
The deworming medication causes the tapeworm to dissolve in the intestines. Since the worm has been digested, you shouldn’t expect to see evidence of it in the litter box. The deworming medication should not cause your cat any adverse side effects, like vomiting or diarrhea.
The best-case scenario is to keep your cat from getting infected in the first place. You can greatly reduce your cat’s risk of ever getting tapeworms by using flea control treatments regularly and keeping your cat inside. Tapeworms are not contagious, like a cold, per se, but they are transmittable through fleas from animal to animal and in rare cases to humans. Just like your cat, if your dog eats an infected flea while chewing his skin, he can get tapeworms. If you or your child accidentally ingests a flea, you could get tapeworm, too.
What Cats Are At Risk For Roundworms
The cats who are most at risk for roundworms are kittens and cats who hunt, but any cat can get roundworms from an owners shoe or by playing with bugs that drag their bellies on the ground and pick up the eggs, Dr. Taylor says. Outdoor cats get them from contaminated soil, hunting or playing with bugs.
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How Should I Worm A Cat
It all depends on what treatment your vet prescribes. They may administer the treatment themselves but there are also treatments which can be given with their food at home or placed on their skin. We don’t advise using natural treatments or holistic remedies for your cat, to treat worms, unless discussed with your vet.
What Happens If Worms Go Untreated In Cats
Worm infestations that are left untreated can be dangerous, even fatal, for your cat.
Migration of larvae through the organs and tissues of the body as they make their way to the intestine could result in severe skin infections, blindness, convulsions, or pneumonia, depending on the path of larval migration.
Ongoing losses of blood and vital nutrients, which should be absorbed by the intestines, can result in progressive anemia, weight loss, dehydration, and death.
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Checking For Ringworm Spores
If such hair is found, a veterinarian can carry out a fungal culture to rule out or confirm a ringworm infection. This can involve taking samples of hair or skin scrapings, and examining them further for fungal spores in a laboratory. This process provides the most conclusive diagnosis, because sometimes the ultraviolet light can reveal a false positive . Even if examination under the wood’s lamp does not show any potential infection, it is still a good idea to check for ringworm spores in a lab. This is because some species of the dermatophytes fungus do not fluoresce under a wood’s lamp.
Although it can be scary to deal with your cat’s ringworm infection, there are many options available for successful treatment. Treat ringworm by giving your cat anti fungal drugs and veterinary medicine. Using a topical therapy like a medicated shampoo, anti fungal shampoo, or a spray to alleviate itchy skin symptoms, is sure to help clear up a feline ringworm infection.
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What Are The Other Tapeworms That Can Infect My Cat
The other common tapeworms that can infect a cat are members of a group called Taenia. The intermediate hosts of these tapeworms are mice, birds, or rabbits.
“…cats acquire Taenia infestations by eating infected mice, birds, or rabbits.”
In a similar manner to Dipylidium transmission, cats acquire Taenia infestations by eating infected mice, birds, or rabbits. Tapeworm medications are highly effective at eliminating these parasites. However, if your cat continues to hunt and eat prey, reinfection can occur with passage of tapeworm segments in 6-8 weeks. In cats that hunt frequently, regular deworming may be needed.
Another less common group of tapeworms called Echinococcus is of increasing concern as a threat to human health. These tapeworms cause serious, potentially fatal disease when humans become infected. Infection with this parasite is harder to diagnose than Dipylidium because the segments are small and not readily seen. Trappers and hunters in the north central United States and south central Canada may be at increased risk for infection with this worm when strict hygiene is not practiced. Foxes, coyotes, and the wild rodents upon which they prey are important in the life cycle of this parasite.
Humans become infected through ingestion of the eggs, and may not show clinical signs until years after ingestion.
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How To Spot The Symptoms Of Worms In Cats
Wondering if the cat in your life has worms but not sure how to find out? Spotting the symptoms of intestinal worms such as roundworm and tapeworm is much easier when we know what to look for. Thats why our pet experts have shared the most common signs us pet parents need to be aware of. See if your cat has any of these and find out what to do next to help your cat get back on track.
One in four cats carries intestinal worms.1
What to look out for
Spotted these signs in a kitten?
If you think your kitten has worms, ask your vet for advice now. Heavy worm infestations can cause serious sometimes even deadly complications in kittens, so your vet will need to recommend a worm treatment thats right for your kittens age and body weight.
Spotted these signs in an adult cat?
Take a look at our quick guide to treating worms in cats.
Not seen these symptoms?
Its good to remember that not all cats show these signs. A healthy-looking cat can mean the problem goes unnoticed, but worms could still be living off our cats food and blood and shedding worm eggs into the environment. Thats why regular worming is important just because we cant always see signs of worms, it doesnt mean theyre not there. With the right treatment, our cats can overcome the problems worms can cause before they become a bigger issue.
How To Tell If Your Cat Has Worms
Worms present in a variety of ways. Some cats display lots of visible symptoms while some dont show any signs at all. Evaluation for parasite infection is one of the most important reasons for a qualified veterinarian to see your cat at least once a year.
Although an on-site evaluation is a must in the case of worms, you can get a timely response on how to build an evaluation schedule online.
A few of the most common signs your cat might have worms include:
- Bloody stool/diarrhea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bloated or especially rounded belly
- Difficulty breathing.
If you have any reason to suspect your cat might have worms, make an appointment with a veterinarian immediately. Only a vet can accurately diagnose your pet with worms and provide your cat with the medicine he needs to get rid of parasites.
Also, remember that it is possible for cats to transmit certain kinds of worms to humans! Roundworms, for example, can easily travel from feline to human host. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after touching a cat you suspect might have worms and to use gloves if handling his feces.
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When To See A Vet
You should always see a veterinarian if you have concerns that your cat is unwell, particularly if they have weight loss, changes in appetite, and vomiting or diarrhea.
Its also worth going to your veterinarian before a problem arises. Our vets will happily discuss preventative worm treatments with you. Get off on the right foot by taking your new kitten in for a check over straight away. Remember that cats can be carriers of worms without showing any symptoms at all, so routine anti-parasite treatment is advised, particularly in young animals and those that go outside and hunt.
Some Of The Ways You Can Prevent Your Cat From Getting Worms Are As Follows:
- All kittens and all-new household additions should be dewormed
- Use monthly heartworm and flea preventative that treats and controls hookworms and roundworms all year long
- Routine wellness and fecal examinations
- Keep your litter box clean
- Keep your cat indoors so that their possible exposure is limited
If you have any further questions about deworming cats or you’re ready to get an appointment for your own pet, please give us a call!
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Which Worming Products To Use
There are many different worming products available on the market, and drug availability varies between different countries. While worming products may be available from pet shops and even some supermarkets, these are often old or less effective products and some are even less safe to use in cats.
It is always better to seek the advice of your vet, who will know what types of worms occur commonly where you live, and will be able to recommend the most effective and safest treatments for your cat. Additionally, some treatments are available which may be easier to administer, such as an injection that your vet can give, a tiny tablet that can go in with food, or even some drops that can be applied to the skin.
See also our information on how to give your cat a tablet.
What Are Worms In Cats
Worms in cats are parasites that can infect cats and lead to all kinds of health problems. There are a variety of different worms, each of which can affect different parts of your cat and bring about different symptoms. The courses of treatment for worms will generally depend on the type of worms that have infected your cat as well as the symptoms your cat has been displaying.
There are a number of different ways for your cat to contract worms. For instance, your cat can be infected by two of the most common parasitic wormsroundworms and hookwormsby ingesting feces that contain the worms eggs or by eating prey thats infected with the parasite.1 Parasitic worms are a very common health condition in cats. In fact, parasitic worms can impact up to 45% of cats in some populations.2
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Signs That Your Cat Has Worms
“Healthy adults may not have symptoms from worms, which is why your vet tends to recommend periodic fecal testing,” McNabb says. But in some cases, your cat may show symptoms of a worm infection including:
- Blood in stool
- Weight loss
You may also be able to see worms in your cat’s stool or vomit. Each type of worm has a different size and shape, Nichols says.
How Will Roundworms Affect My Cat
Adult roundworms live in the cats intestines. Most cats will not have signs of infection however, cats with major roundworm infections commonly show vomiting, weight loss, dull hair, and a potbellied appearance. The cat may cough if the roundworms move into the lungs.
You may notice adult roundworms in your cats feces or vomit. They will appear white or light brown in color and may be several inches long.
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How Will You Know If Your Cat Is Infected
Most tapeworm infections in cats are asymptomatic, meaning that many cats dont show any signs.
Tapeworm infections in pets are usually asymptomatic, meaning your cat may not show any signs. In severe cases, you might see vomiting or diarrhea, or in chronic cases, weight loss.
These occur because the tapeworms mouth attaches to the wall of the cats small intestine and feeds there for weeks to months. If there are multiple adult tapeworms, an intestinal obstruction, or blockage, can occur and can be life-threatening.
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Looking For Physical Signs That A Cat Has Worms
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