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How To Kill Tapeworms In Cats

Beware Of Expired Medications

Deworming Cats Naturally: Prevent Roundworms & Tapeworms in Cats

Always keep an eye on your pet for the first 10 minutes or so after treatment to ensure there are no negative side effects. One time, I treated a foster kitty, and he started having very mild seizures , so I immediately washed the treated area with soap and water. That did the trick, and the kitty was fine. I found out after this ordeal that the Advantage I had was expired. So, please keep an eye on the expiration dates of your medications and treatments too!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the authorâs knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2011 Amber Killinger

Transmission And Life Cycle

The tapeworm needs two to complete its lifecycle. First is the intermediate host , and the final host , where the larvae develop into an adult tapeworm.

Dipylidium caninum:

Flea larvae consume eggs in the environment, where they continue to develop inside the flea. Cats can accidentally ingest an infected flea when they groom. Once inside the cat, the flea is broken down and the tapeworm is released.

Taenia taeniaformis:

Rodents ingest tapeworm eggs in the environment where they pass through several life stages before migrating to the liver. Once in the liver, each scolex forms a fluid-filled cyst . The parasite can survive for several months inside the rodent. If the infected rodent is eaten by a cat, the strobilocercus survives and develops into an adult tapeworm.

Cats become infected when they ingest a flea or rodent which contains tapeworm larvae.

Top 4 Medications For Treating Tapeworms In Cats

1. PiperazineThis kills tapeworms in your cats intestines and stomach naturally. This product has been proven effective for many years now.

2. Pyrantel PamoateIt helps remove tapeworms and roundworms and hookworms as well. It is easy to administer and is inexpensive. A correct dose is even safe if you cat is pregnant or in a very young age.

3. FenbendazoleThis kills many more tapeworms compared to the previous one. This can also treat intestinal parasites when diarrhea is seen. Three consecutive treatments are required.

4. PraziquantelTapeworms are being killed by this medication. This can be given by injection or taken orally by your pet cat.

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Symptoms Of Tapeworms In Cats

Proglottids are a type of sac containing many eggs. Fresh Diplydium tapeworm proglottids look like small grains of rice that can move. When they become dry, they may look like sesame seeds in size, shape, and color.

Shape varies across types of tapeworms, for example proglottids are more square in appearance. Luckily, it is not necessary for pet parents to distinguish between the types of tapeworms when seeking treatment as all types of tapeworms respond to the same treatment.

Kittens with tapeworms may develop an intestinal obstruction if the worms fill up the volume of their intestines. This can be fatal.

For adult and otherwise healthy cats, symptoms of tapeworms are rare and mild but may include the following:

Worms And How To Kill Them: Dog And Cat Tapeworms

How To Get Rid of Tapeworms In Cats in Simple Steps (With images ...

Hopefully, every pet owner knows that they must regularly worm their pets. But did you know that worm is a very broad category referring to hundreds of different parasites that can live inside your pets gastrointestinal tract? Today we will be discussing one specific group tapeworms. We will talk about tapeworm biology and the different species of dog and cat tapeworms. Also how you can treat and prevent tapeworm infection in your pets.

Now for the unpleasant part, not just how to kill or control tapeworms, but what they actually are.

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Do Home Remedies Work For Tapeworms

Even though oral medications are effective for tapeworms, theres research suggesting that some natural and home remedies can also fight intestinal worms.

In one study, different dosages of papaya seed infusions and varied amounts of whole papaya seeds were given to chickens infected with intestinal parasites. After two weeks of treatments, the chickens treated with the papaya seeds had a significantly lower number of intestinal worms.

In addition to papaya seeds, there are also claims of other natural dewormers. These include garlic, pumpkin, and ginger. These herbs have had antiparasitic effects in some animals, but more research is needed to confirm the benefits in humans.

If youre thinking about using a natural or home remedy for tapeworms, consult your doctor for dosing information.

Parasites De Will Eliminate

Many internal and external parasites can be controlled and eliminatedwith DE. Intestinal roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms are a few of the parasitic infestations which DE can eliminate. Externally, fleas andticks can be controlled by lightly dusting the pets body with diatomaceous earth. DE is also used in the garden to kill ants, slugs, snails and aphids, among others. A very important benefit with using DE to control insects and parasites is that they have no means to build a resistance to the substance.

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Is There More Than One Type Of Tapeworm

There are two types of tapeworm. The most common, and the one discussed throughout this article, is known scientifically as dipylidium caninum, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

The other type which is far more dangerous and far more rare is called Echinococcus. According to the , cystic echinococcosis is caused by infection with the larval stage of a tapeworm called hydatid worm, or Echinococcus granulosus, which is found in dogs, sheep, cattle, goats, and pigs.

“Although most infections in humans are asymptomatic, CE causes harmful, slowly enlarging cysts in the liver, lungs, and other organs that often grow unnoticed and neglected for years,” the CDC reports.

Another type of tapeworm is called Echinococcus multilocularis, and can cause a disease called Alveolar echinococcosis . This tapeworm is found in foxes, coyotes, dogs, cats, and small rodents. Human cases are rare but very seriouscausing parasitic tumors that can form in the liver, lungs, brain, and other organs. AE can be fatal if it isn’t treated, according to the CDC. But that, thankfully, is rare. In fact, a study published by the PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases found only forty-one echinococcosis-related deaths in the United States between 1990 and 2007.

Diagnosis Of Tapeworms Is Confirmed By Finding The Eggs In The Feces Or By Looking At One Of The Tapeworm Segments Under A Microscope

How to Treat Cat Tapeworm

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.

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How To Prevent A Tapeworm Infection

According to Nichols, the best way to prevent your cat from getting tapeworms is to keep it on a year-round flea preventative. Many heartworm preventative drugs will also protect against tapeworms. Your cats veterinarian can help you find the best options for your pet. Its also a good idea to prevent your cat from hunting mice and other small rodents that could be carrying the parasite.

Treatment Of Tapeworms In Cats

Treatment to rid your cat of tapeworms is readily available and very effective. Always consult your veterinarian before choosing a treatment, and seek prescription medications over pet store options.

Deworming Medication

Many medications have been manufactured for the purpose of ridding cats of tapeworms. These treatments come in the form of injections, tablets and skin drops. Certain medications may have side effects of vomiting and diarrhea. Commonly prescribed deworming medications include praziquantel.

Flea Medication

If your cat has been confirmed as carrying Dipylidium caninum tapeworms, it may be necessary to also start a regular flea medication to eliminate the possibility of reinfection. Flea medications are often administered on a once a month basis.

Worried about the cost of Tapeworms treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

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Cats Should Be On Parasite Prevention Year

Veterinarians recommend broad-spectrum parasite prevention for all cats. Indoor-outdoor cats are at high risk for contracting intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, and all cats, including those that live indoors, need prevention from deadly heartworms.

Parasites can enter the house many ways, Sawyer said. They can be brought in by other pets like the family dog or by small rodents. They can be brought in by us, for example, a flea on our clothes or on our shoes. Mosquitoes can also enter through an open door or window and transmit heartworm disease.

Some owners think their cats only need preventives in the spring and summer, but veterinarians recommend keeping cats on a broad-spectrum parasite preventive all 12 months of the year. Different parasites are active during different months, and parasite activity can vary depending on where you live. Additionally, parasites can become active earlier than expected, including in the winter.

Its a little bit of a gamble, especially with climate change and the unpredictability of the weather in most areas of the country, Jeffer said. Where I live in North Carolina, the weather changes from week to week. One week we might have a snowstorm and the next week it might be 70 degrees. When there are puddles on the ground and the temperatures warm enough, thats mosquitoes favorite time of year.

What Do Tapeworms Look Like On Cats

How to Get Rid of Tapeworms in Cats

They are called “tapeworms” because the entire worm is long and flat, resembling tape or a ribbon. You may see yellow, sesame seed-sized items on the fur near your cat’s behind. These are dried-up tapeworms. You may actually see live tapeworms in the fur near your cat’s behind. The worms move by shortening their bodies, then lengthening them, going from about 1/8″ to 1/2″.

In the first photo above, you can see a worm in the kitty’s fur, close to her behind. In the second photo below, you can see tapeworm segments in a kitty’s tail, and stuck to her fur. Hopefully, you can also see how small they are.

Tapeworm near kitty’s behind

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What Will A Tapeworm Do To My Cat’s Health

While not considered a serious health concern, tapeworms can stick around for a long time inside your animal and, like most parasites, may cause your cat to lose weight or become weaker. This is because tapeworms essentially leech nutrients from your cat’s body.

Plus, as mentioned, tapeworms can make your cat physically uncomfortable and itchy in all the wrong places.

Not fun for you or your feline.

Home Remedies For Tapeworms In Cats

Like humans, most cats have microscopic organisms which live in their intestines and stomachs which help in clearing out the bad things in the body. Occasionally, cats pick up bacteria from wondering around the street and in your place that manifests into tapeworms. Tapeworms typically eat what your cat eats that leads your cat to become sick and cause them to lose weight. Your pet cat may also have fleas case, the most likely culprit to lead your cat to get tapeworms.

Treating your cat with tapeworms is a dual process. First, your cat should be treated for fleas as they likely the primary cause of the tapeworms. An easy way to do this at home without spending much money or visiting your veterinarian, is using tea tree oil. Dab a very small amount along the spine of your cat. It helps in killing fleas and their eggs as well.

Herbs such as Neem, Cloves and Wormwood are known to help rid cats and other animals of tapeworms because of their bactericidal and cleansing properties.

The best way to treat a cat for tapeworms is through veterinary intervention. Tape worms steal the nutrition from your cat that they need, and can result in even more sickness if not treated properly. There are many medications that are very effective in ridding cats of tapeworms.

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How Do Cats Get Tapeworms

The tapeworm requires an intermediate host before developing into an adult. So, for a cat to get tapeworms, they need to ingest the intermediate host. For example, tapeworm eggs are frequently ingested through adult fleas.

The fleas actually ingest the tapeworm eggs before jumping on a cat, and then the cat eats the flea and becomes infected. The tapeworm eggs then hatch once they have been digested in the cats intestines.

Other hosts that a cat is likely to ingest include rabbits, birds, and rodents. Scavenging may also lead to an infestation of tapeworms.

Cost To Treat Tapeworms In Cats

Tapeworms in a Cat

Depending on the size of your cat, the cost of treating tapeworms may be anywhere from $20-$50 plus any costs associated with your veterinary visit such as the exam and fecal analysis .

Flea treatment and prevention is an important part of treating tapeworms. The safest and most effective forms of flea treatment and prevention for cats are only available with a veterinary prescription. This is because cats are sensitive to many of the ingredients used to treat fleas in dogs and over-the-counter products often do not indicate whether a product is safe for cats and may be misleading.

Options for effective flea prevention include flea collars, topical treatments, and chewable medications that range in price from $10 to $40 per month.

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Symptoms Of Intestinal Parasites In Cats

A cat whose gastrointestinal tract has been colonized by parasites may show the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Malaise and lethargy

One of the clearest warning signs of the presence of intestinal parasites in your pet is noticing worms in the cat’s feces.

Don’t put off going to the vet if you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms in your cat, since these symptoms may also correspond with other diseases and it’s important to properly verify the diagnosis. It’s also important for the vet to supervise the natural treatment for intestinal parasites in cats, which will be possible whenever the infestation is not severe.

Similarly, it’s important to go to the vet because some parasites can cause zoonosis, meaning that they can be transmitted to humans – although this only happens on rare occasions.

Are Certain Cats More Likely To Get Tapeworms

Since tapeworms are often contracted via fleas, cats inside a flea-infested home are highly susceptible, as well as those that spend time outside in moist, shady, and cool places where fleas tend to thrive.

Outdoor cats who like to hunt are also more at risk of contracting tapeworms via rodents or other prey.

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How Tapeworms Are Diagnosed And Treated

Nichols says that tapeworms in cats are most often diagnosed by either the owner or the veterinarian seeing the tapeworm segments . You dont need a microscope to spot them. Unlike with roundworms, yearly fecal float tests that use a microscope to look for parasite eggs in the poop arent as useful for detecting tapeworms.

Treatment of tapeworms in cats involves a single dose of a deworming drug by mouth, explains Nichols. However, cats can become reinfected by eating infected rodents or fleas, so they may have to undergo the same treatment again in the future. Because fleas are a common route of infection, its important to treat the fleas as well as the tapeworms, she adds. I always recommend flea preventatives for my patients that have tapeworm, and I always consider a tapeworm treatment or screening for my patients that have fleas.

Are There Tapeworms In My Cats Poop

Tapeworm Removal In Cats

Tapeworms are segmented parasites, and pieces of tapeworm can show up in your cats poop.

Their eggs are contained in segments of their body that break off, exit the cat and then open to release the eggs into the environment, Dr. Bonk said.

The segments are big enough that youll be able to spot them yourself, and this is often how cats get diagnosed with a tapeworm infection.

Most of the time tapeworm segments are noticed on the feces or stuck in the hair under the tail, Dr. Bonk said. They look like grains of rice and may wriggle from place to place.

Passing tapeworm segments isnt the most fun thing for your cat since it can be pretty uncomfortable for him.

Cats may sometimes drag their rear end across the ground when passing a tapeworm, or they may vomit one up, Dr. Bonk said.

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Home Remedies For Tapeworm In Cats

In addition to being questionably effective and expensive, commercial medications may disrupt your cat’s natural gut health. This can impair your cat’s ability to absorb nutrients and could lead to nutritional deficiencies. For this reason, home remedies for tapeworms in cats are popular. Try these:

  • Pumpkin seeds: highly anti-parasitic and full of healthy vitamins and minerals, these seeds can kill both larval and adult tapeworms. To use: add approximately 1 teaspoon of finely crushed pumpkin seeds into your cat’s food for at least 3 weeks. Other natural foods include turmeric and papaya .
  • Parsley water: brew a homemade tea from the leaves of this herb to give your cat a gentle and natural diuretic. It’s full of antioxidants and nutrients, plus it normalizes the digestive system. Simply boil a bunch of fresh parsley in a pot of water, strain, and allow to cool. Add 1/2 tablespoon of the cooled tea into your cat’s water dish for 10 days.

Another major tip for how to get rid of tapeworms in cats naturally? Don’t let them get tapeworms in the first place! It’s always good practice to reduce your animal’s exposure to critters, especially if your cat has already been treated for tapeworms in the past. Here are a few basic tips:

  • Give your cat routine flea and tick preventive medication throughout the year.
  • Reduce your cat’s exposure to other critters by using sprays, traps, and other methods around your home and yard.
  • Clean your cat’s litter box more frequently.


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