An animal can “pick up” helminths anywhere. Even if you keep it constantly at home, your cat does not go out on the street, this does not guarantee that worms will not appear in the cat. Often the owners themselves are to blame, since they bring parasite eggs on themselves. It is enough for a cat to lick, smell, rub against an infected object (there it will lick its nose or its skin and infection will occur).
Some helminths are “declared” not immediately, before the clinical signs take a long time. Many parasitic diseases in a cat occur with very similar symptoms, which complicates the diagnosis. However, the veterinarian will conduct the necessary research and determine the type of helminth.
If you suspect that the cat “settled” worms, then do not give yourself Anthelmintics. First, without the exact name of the causative agent of the disease, it is extremely difficult to choose the “right” drug that will surely destroy the parasite. But for the” expulsion ” of tapeworms are not suitable drugs to fight flat, and Vice versa.
Secondly, the wrong dosage will either not work, or will cause a” blow ” to the liver. Third, the pet may have helminths from different families, and in this case, a well-thought-out treatment regimen is required so that both parasites are killed and the pet is not harmed.
You can’t do without tests and consultation with a veterinarian. And we must not forget that some helminths from a cat can easily be transmitted to humans. You need to monitor your pet’s health even more carefully if you have kids. Any suspicious clinical signs in a cat should alert you.
Common symptoms of the presence of parasites in a cat
Signs can be General, which are typical for almost all types of parasites, and specific. If we talk about General symptoms, it is weakness, intestinal disorders (constipation or diarrhea), the stomach swells, becomes tight, like a drum.
Almost always the presence of parasites “reflects” on the coat, it becomes dull, lifeless, falls out. And often the eyes begin to fester. Bad breath is extremely unpleasant, often there is itching of the anal sphincter. Appetite disappears, although some parasites so suck the strength and energy of the cat that he has to eat a lot. However, despite the large amounts of food consumed, the animal is exhausted.
Agree that infection or worms in cats, whose symptoms are generally similar, are very easy to confuse. In addition, helminths reduce immunity, so any infection “clings” to the cat. And then the signs of infectious and parasitic diseases are mixed, which complicates the diagnosis.
That is why it is important to carry out preventive deworming in time, as well as to carefully monitor the health of your cat.
Specific signs of the presence of helminths
And now let’s “run through” various pathogens. The first will be flatworms (cestodes).
- The most common cestodes – difillobotrioz, the cat it arises from eating raw fish. Specific symptoms are vomiting (often with blood), severe weight loss, diarrhea/constipation, convulsions, anemia, and with severe invasion-intestinal blockage.
- Dipilidiosis-the disease occurs due to the cat eating fleas or hair eaters, which are intermediate hosts. The cat’s appetite disappears, but there is vomiting, diarrhea/constipation. You can hear the cat’s tummy growling.
- Alveococcosis. Parasites are tiny (up to 4 mm), affect the small intestine, and the cat is infected, eat a rodent (patient). There are no specific symptoms, but this is a very dangerous disease for people. Often, the fatal outcome of the cat owner is registered, which is why it is necessary to carry out preventive deworming, as well as visit a doctor, take tests (this applies to animals, but also to all family members).
Now let’s look at a group of roundworms that cause nematodoses. Most often, toxascaridosis (infection pathways – through the mouth or through the placenta) and hookworm (larvae can enter through the skin, as well as orally) are registered.
Signs of infection are very similar: thinness with a persistent appetite, vomiting and diarrhea with blood, cough. Differential diagnosis only based on the results of tests performed by a veterinarian.
And now it’s time to learn about flukes (a group of diseases caused by flukes). Intermediate hosts: shellfish, crabs, river fish, crayfish. Therefore, it is forbidden to give them to animals without heat treatment.
- Paragonimoz. The pathogen needs cancers, shellfish, and crabs for the development cycle. Fluke larvae affect the lungs, the cat has a cough, up to vomiting (foam), heavy breathing, wheezing is heard. Pet a fever, often there is diarrhea.
- Opisthorchiasis (the pet becomes infected when eating raw river fish or shellfish). The pathogen “settles” most often in the liver, but sometimes it can be “detected” in the gallbladder, pancreas. A specific symptom is abdominal pain (the pet does not allow you to touch it), fever, jaundice, vomiting with bile. The appetite is disappearing, then just brutal.
The treatment of Pets
No self-medication! Even if an adult parasite is found in the feces, you do not need to select the drug yourself. Do not listen to the advice of “experienced”, otherwise you can only harm your pet. Be sure to contact the veterinary clinic.
Many helminthiasis require complex treatment (more than one drug) and veterinary supervision. Repeated tests are required to confirm that there is no trace of worms left. In most cases, the drug is given twice, because the first time adults are destroyed, and the larvae do not”react”. After 2 weeks, they grow up, and the drug already acts on them.
Prevention of helminthiasis
Preventive treatment conduct regularly – on a quarterly basis. It doesn’t matter if the cat has symptoms of worms. Be sure to watch what the cat eats.
No raw meat! Freeze and cook, but never raw. Do not allow rodents to eat, if the cat is a hunter, then show it periodically to the veterinarian in order to diagnose helminthiasis in time. Be sure to treat your pet from skin parasites (fleas, hair eaters), which are often intermediate hosts of worms.
Do not leave your shoes outside the Cabinet or nightstand, so that your pet does not sniff or lick them. Be sure to disinfect the tray well and wash it at least once in 14 days. And throw out the excrement immediately.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.