How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has Tapeworms
As a tapeworm grows, pieces of its body break into segments and pass into your cats intestines. You may see dried, white or cream-colored segments of the tapeworm in your cat’s feces, or you may find them stuck to the fur under your cats tail.
Some tapeworm species will break into segments that are too small to see, while the segments of other tapeworm species will resemble sesame or cucumber seeds in size and appearance.
If a tapeworm has traveled into a cats stomach, and the cat vomits up the worm, it may come up as a large and moving segment.
Cats may bite or lick their , or drag their hindquarters across the floor. Keep in mind that a tapeworm infection is often asymptomatic and, contrary to popular belief, rarely a cause of weight loss in cats.
If you notice tapeworms, take your cat to the vet for an evaluation. A fecal sample can be used to diagnose intestinal parasites like tapeworms. Its always helpful to save any worms that you find and bring them to your veterinarian for diagnosis. They can be transported in a sealed plastic bag or jar.
A Guide To Tapeworm Medication For Cats
This guide will better inform you on tapeworm medication for cats. Tapeworms, also called cestodes, are internal parasites that attach themselves to the wall of your cats intestines. Dipylidium is the most common tapeworm of cats and is spread by fleas. Taenia and Echinococcusare less common tapeworms and are spread by ingesting the host that is carrying the tapeworm. These medications are beneficial in the elimination of tapeworms.
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How Does My Indoor Cat Get Worms
If you have a cat, the odds of your kitty contracting an intestinal parasite is very good. It would be more shocking if a cat went its whole life never contracting worms.
Both indoor cats and outdoor cats are at risk of contracting worms. Infestation depends on the type of worm, but most often, cats get worms by coming into contact with fleas, eggs or infected particles in feces.
Fleas are carriers for tapeworm eggs. If a flea jumps onto your cat, they could accidentally ingest the flea by grooming or scratching. If the cat eats a flea its almost a guarantee that the pet will contract a tapeworm. Another easy way for your cat to contract worms is by indirect contact. Even if your kitty never goes outside, theres a good chance that members of the household come and go daily. Having a dog in the same home could bring back a parasite such as a roundworm after a walk, or playdate. Microscopic worm eggs can lay dormant for months, so its easy to track them in on your clothing and footwear. Theres no way to avoid them completely when you are outdoors. You can lower the chances of contamination by removing or cleaning shoes before entering the house. Another way is by having potted plants in your home, bags of potting soil can be contaminated by parasite eggs, your indoor only kitty could then walk or dig in the soil, later groom his paws ingesting an egg.
- Dull haircoat
- Pale mucous membranes
- A pot-bellied appearance.
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Symptoms Of Tapeworms In Cats
There are a number of symptoms to watch out for when it comes to tapeworms in cats. The first is to check your cats faeces. If they have small white grains in them, its likely your cat has the parasite. These small pieces will be cream in colour and around the size of a grain of rice.
Tapeworms can also cause cats to lose weight. This weight loss may occur even though your cats appetite has increased. The final sign to look at for is the condition of your cats coat. If your cat has a tapeworm, their coat could become a lot more dull or shabby than usual.
If you notice any of these signs its important to take your cat to see your vet as soon as possible. If noticed early, tapeworms are easy to treat and get rid of.
How Often Should I Worm My Cat
Your cat or kitten may need monthly worming to keep them in tip-top health, especially if they are hunters . Kittens are particularly at risk of contracting tapeworm, due to their immature immune systems and it is recommended that cats are routinely protected against tapeworm. While over-the-counter worming treatments can be very effective, the benefits are short-term, so its vital to get into a regular worming routine for your cat.
Most cat worming treatments kill tapeworms your cat has already picked up, but prevention is better than cure, so get into the habit of keeping those worms at bay!
Your local vet will advise you on the best worming treatment for your cat or kitten.
Eww! In the early 1900s, rich people were known to consume tapeworms as a way of losing weight. Thats one seriously extreme and highly risky diet!
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How To Tell If You Have A Tapeworm
This article was medically reviewed by Jennifer Boidy, RN. Jennifer Boidy is a Registered Nurse in Maryland. She received her Associate of Science in Nursing from Carroll Community College in 2012.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 89% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 185,305 times.
A tapeworm is a parasite that you can get from eating the undercooked meat of an infected animal. Tapeworms are often easy to treat, but they can cause some severe problems if left untreated.XResearch source If you are concerned that you may have a tapeworm, then the best thing to do is to see a doctor as soon as possible. There are also some symptoms that you can watch for that may indicate that you have a tapeworm, but it is necessary to get a diagnosis to be sure.
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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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.
How Do Tapeworms Affect My Cat
Cat tapeworms are gross, but veterinarians consider them a minor parasite. That’s because they are unlikely to do any lasting harm to your pet, according to the Drake Center for Veterinary Care. That being said, if your cat is heavily infested with tapeworms, she might experience weight loss from the worms digesting the nutrition from your cat’s food. In addition, a tapeworm will sometimes break off from the small intestine and travel into a cat’s stomach. When that happens, your cat might vomit up a still-alive worm, which can be a startling sight for a cat owner if you were unaware your cat was infested.
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What Is The Treatment For Tapeworm In Cats
There are many different deworming products that you can find in supermarkets and pet stores. They may not all be safe for your cat or effective for the type of worms that your cat has. Contact your vet immediately for safe and effective cat tapeworm treatments if you think your pet has tapeworms.
Your cat will usually be given a drug called praziquantel either orally or in the form of an injection. Praziquantel is a tapeworm dewormer for cats. The drug helps to dissolve the tapeworms in the intestines.
Treatment And Risk Reduction
It is important to understand that you cannot actually prevent worms and that they are so prevalent that the vast majority of our cats will be infected. However, with regular and effective worm control as an integral part of your Cat Care regime you are able to get rid of those worms which are present at the time of treatment hence removing the threat of the illnesses and suffering to which we have referred earlier.
There is a multitude of different worming products available on the market from pet shops, supermarkets, and on the internet and it can therefore be very difficult, and often confusing, to be certain that you are using the right ones. Some treatments are effective against roundworm and tapeworm, whilst others are only effective against one or the other.
Not only is the range of products huge, but so also are the ways of administering them. Some excellent ones are still in tablet form. Other effective ones come in spot-on form, or as pastes, powders, syrups, or with injections by your vet. As regular worm treatment is so very important to your cats wellbeing it is therefore a good idea to have a word with your vet before deciding upon the right ones to use for your particular cat.
In my experience cats do not like being wormed, and some are extremely difficult to treat with tablets even the palatable ones. For this reason, I personally believe that the spot-on treatments are by far the easiest to administer.
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Are Certain Cats More Likely To Get Tapeworms
Fleas are the intermediate host for tapeworm. In other words, the tapeworm is unable to complete its life cycle without the presence of fleas in the environment. Regardless of whether the owner has seen fleas on the cat, or in the home, the cat must have ingested a flea in order to have tapeworms.
“Fleas are the intermediate host for the tapeworm, Dipylidium caninum.”
Consequently, tapeworms are more common in environments that are heavily infested with fleas. It is recommended to treat your cat for fleas if tapeworms are noted, and use flea control to prevent future flea infestations and tapeworm infections.
How Do You Use Cbd Oil For Tapeworms In Cats
Whether you are introducing CBD to your cat or changing brands, it is always wise to use a lower dosage. For example, start with 0.5 mg/kg twice a day and monitor your cats reaction. You can slowly increase the dosage if you dont see any effect. However, consult with your vet to make sure that CBD doesnt interact with medication that can trigger side effects.
As for the intake method, you can add cannabidiol oil to cat food or treats. Our Happy Garden CBD online store also offers CBD-infused cat treats, making dosing and consuming simple and effective.
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Recovery And Management Of Tapeworms In Cats
Different species of tapeworms require different management strategies. For instance, if your cat is diagnosed with dipylidium caninum, you will need to treat your cat, home, and other pets for fleas as well as tapeworms to prevent reinfection. Flea infestations can be tricky to manage, and can also expose other cats and dogs in the home to tapeworms. Your veterinarian can help you come up with the best treatment plan for removing fleas safely from your home, as well as the best flea preventative for your area.
Taenia taeniaeformis tapeworms, on the other hand, are transmitted through rodents. It may be impossible to stop an outdoor cat from hunting, which may mean youll need to make regular veterinary visits to monitor your cat for reinfection. Indoor cats that hunt are also at risk, and if there is a tapeworm infestation in your homes rodent population, it might be time to consider removing unwanted houseguests.
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 CDC, 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.
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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.
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.
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Is There Anything Else That I Should Do
Flea control is the cornerstone of the management and prevention of tapeworm infection. Flea control products are convenient to use. Depending on the type of product you use and the presence of other pets in your home, you may also need to treat your house and yard for fleas . With some of the newer products, environmental flea control may not be needed. Circumstances vary however, so be sure to talk to your veterinarian.
“Flea control is the cornerstone of preventing tapeworm infection.”
If the cat lives in a flea-infested environment, tapeworm infection can become re-established within a few weeks. This is very rarely due to treatment failure in most cases, reappearance of tapeworm segments represents a re-infection of the cat. Additional recommendations include:
1. Promptly have your cat treated when tapeworms are detected.
2. Remove and dispose of all pet feces properly, especially in public parks, yards, or playgrounds.
3. Teach and practice strict hygiene practices for children after playing outdoors.
Is There A Cure For Tapeworms In Cats
Yes. Tapeworms in cats can be cured with deworming medications like epsiprantel, praziquantel, and fenbendazole. While these medications will eliminate tapeworms from your cats intestinal tract, they do not guarantee protection from reinfection, which is why its important to treat any underlying cause, such as a flea infestation, and follow good hygiene practices when cleaning the litter box.
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Can Humans Be Infected By The Worms
Some types of worms can be spread between cats and people. For example, the eggs from some of the roundworms can be ingested accidentally, with the result that the egg may hatch and the larva then migrate out of the bowel and lodge in the tissues of our bodies. Whilst this is not common, there are reports of a few children having eaten the eggs and suffering eye damage and even blindness as a result. As the eggs are also left in the soil when an infected cat does its toilet, it is always advised to wear gloves when gardening.
The common tapeworms are much less likely to infect humans, however yet again this can occur, and is most likely to be the result of an infected flea being swallowed.