Table of contents:
- How a cat can get worms
- Symptoms of worms in cats
- Diagnosis of worms in cats
- How to tell if a cat has worms if their eggs are not found in feces
- Classification of worms in cats
- Internal worms in cats
- Treatment of worms in cats
- How to give medicine to your cat
- The harm that worms do to the cat's body
- Prevention of worms in cats
Photo of worms in cats. Cats and dogs, even not going outside, can become carriers of parasites and pose a danger to humans. Felines are infected with trematodes, nematodes and cestodes. All these species can live in humans, so it is important for pets to regularly carry out prophylaxis against helminths.
The content of the article:
- 1 How a cat can get worms
- 2 Symptoms of worms in cats
- 3 Diagnosis of worms in cats
- 4 How to know if a cat has worms if their eggs are not found in feces
5 Classification of worms in cats
- 5.1 Worms of cestodosis in cats
- 5.2 Worms of nematodosis in cats
- 5.3 Worms of trematodosis in cats
6 Internal worms in cats
- 6.1 What do roundworm worms look like in cats
- 6.2 What hookworms look like in cats
- 6.3 What do dirofilaria worms look like in cats
- 6.4 What do cat fluke worms look like in a cat
- 6.5 What does the alaria worm look like in a cat
- 6.6 What a tapeworm looks like in a cat
- 6.7 What does the cucumber tapeworm look like in a cat
- 6.8 What does the echinococcus worm look like in a cat
- 6.9 Uncinariosis in cats
- 6.10 Pisiform teniosis in cats
- 6.11 Hydategyrosis in cats
- 7 Treatment of worms in cats
- 8 How to give medicine to a cat
- 9 Harm that worms do to the body of a cat
- 10 Prevention of worms in cats
How a cat can get worms
A pet can become infected with parasites in several ways. Helminth eggs are found in raw fish and meat. Unfiltered water can also become a source of infestation.
The host may bring parasite larvae on shoes or clothing. If the cat walks on the street, the range of opportunities for infection expands significantly. Grass in flower beds, water in puddles and faeces from other animals are dangerous.
Symptoms of worms in cats
The presence of certain symptoms of the disease with worms can vary depending on the degree of damage to the cat by helminths, in other words, on the number of worms in the body. With a weak invasion (defeat), signs of the disease may be absent altogether.
The main symptoms that may indirectly indicate a possible infection of the cat with worms:
- depression, poor or perverted appetite, weight loss, fatigue, if it is a kitten, then stunted growth and development;
- tousled coat;
- the presence of yellowness of the mucous membranes and an increase in the liver (with trematodes) or their anemicity (with cestodes);
- indigestion (constipation followed by diarrhea, and vice versa, vomiting);
- a cough may periodically appear (this occurs at the time of the migration of round helminth larvae throughout the body);
- discharge from the eyes;
- itching in the anal area;
- in severe cases, symptoms of body intoxication may appear: cramps, paresis of the legs, etc.;
- miscarriage or premature birth;
- the presence of blood, mucus in the cat's feces.
Diagnosis of worms in cats
In order to make an accurate diagnosis for the presence of helminths in the body, it is necessary to conduct a scatological study of feces (feces analysis) to determine the eggs of the worm. It is not always possible to detect the presence of eggs in the stool of a cat the first time, this is due to the period of development of the worm.
If an animal has recently become infected, then there are immature individuals in the body that do not yet release eggs, so the research results may be false negative. To avoid such a situation, you need to donate feces at least 3-4 times a month.
By and large, if you do not need scientific discoveries and do not need to know the exact name of the helminth, this study is not necessary.
If segments of worms or whole individuals are found in feces, then the question of whether there is a disease or not is no longer necessary. This is a sign that directly indicates the defeat of the cat with worms.
How to tell if a cat has worms if their eggs are not found in feces
Pulmonary worms are manifested by coughing, but coughing can be a symptom of other illnesses. Based on this, the only real way to protect an animal is to prevent helminthic invasion.
This procedure is absolutely painless, moreover, now there are tablets that are taken once and not necessarily on an empty stomach. Fleas are carriers of some types of worms, so if you find fleas in your cat, there is a high probability that worms are present.
To rid a cat of parasites, you need to know what type of worms the animal is infected with. For example, the drug can be effective against roundworms and harmless to tapeworms. It is advisable to take drugs with a wide spectrum of action under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Classification of worms in cats
One of the main classifications of helminthiases is by the shape of the body of the parasites, which includes:
- nematodes: roundworms, nematodes;
- trematodes: flatworms, trematodes;
- cestodes: tapeworms, cestodes.
Cestodosis worms in a cat
Photo of worms in cats. Cats become infected with these worms while eating raw meat, mice, fish, fleas are their carriers. Diphyllobothriasis - the invasion is caused by a long, up to one and a half meter flatworm. Symptoms of worms in cats associated with this parasite are manifested in the form of weight loss, anemia, and sometimes vomiting of blood. Dipylidiosis is caused by a flatworm 20-30 centimeters long. Parasites attach to the intestinal wall, thereby destroying the mucous membrane.
Animals lose weight, they develop diarrhea with mucus and blood. Failure to treat worms in cats can have serious consequences.
Alveococcosis is caused by a small worm that lives in the small intestine. It is not very dangerous for the animal, but these worms in cats are transmitted to humans.
Nematodosis worms in cats
Photo of worms in cats. Toxocariasis is caused by small worms that live in the intestines and biliary tract. They are transmitted either through food or in utero. Signs of worms in a cat are manifested in the form of weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes anemia.
If such worms start in cats, treatment, drugs must be used, because they often cause blockage of the biliary tract and intestinal obstruction. Ankylostomiasis is associated with a roundworm, about 2 mm long. It feeds on blood, if kittens have such worms, the signs will manifest themselves in the form of anemia.
Fluke worms in cats
Photo of worms in cats. Paragonimiasis or pulmonary worms. Infection occurs while eating raw fish and seafood.
When these worms are present, the symptoms in cats may appear general - loss of appetite, fever, snoring during sleep, shortness of breath. In some cases, frothy vomiting and diarrhea are observed.
Internal worms in cats
Each group includes several types of feline parasites.
The most common of which are:
- ascariasis or toxocariasis: nematodes;
- hookworm infection: nematodes;
- dirofilariasis: nematodes;
- opisthorchiasis: trematodes;
- alariasis: trematodes;
- diphyllobothriasis: cestodes;
- dipylidiosis: cestodes.
What do roundworm worms look like in cats
One of the most common types of roundworms in cats are roundworms. Due to its widespread prevalence, roundworms were given a common name - "worms", under which all other types of parasites fell.
Photo of worms in cats. Externally, roundworms are round, without a pronounced front and back. Adults parasitize in the small intestine, often getting tangled up. Infection of cats occurs with the ingestion of ascaris eggs in the food, in contact with sick animals, with mother's milk. Possible infection of the fetus through the umbilical cord on the 42nd day of pregnancy.
With a strong concentration in the body, roundworms cause significant harm to the host, damaging the intestinal mucosa, causing allergic reactions with toxic waste products, forming intestinal blockages.
Sexually mature individuals are characterized by active egg production. Ascaris eggs leave with animal feces into the external environment, heavily seeding it. Ascariasis belongs to a group of diseases that are dangerous to humans.
What hookworms look like in cats
Hookworms are small round helminths (about 1-2 cm in length) with characteristic formations in the front of the body, resembling a fish hook.
Photo of worms in cats. Hookworms parasitize in the small intestine, biting into its wall in the area of large blood vessels and feeding on blood. This type of nutrition causes serious harm to the health of the animal - intraintestinal bleeding, and with severe infestations - anemia.
Infection of cats occurs with the ingestion of eggs or penetration through the skin of larvae, which, getting under the skin, are introduced into the lumen of a blood vessel and, with blood flow, penetrate into the lungs, causing inflammation and a cough effect.
Coughing contributes to the expectoration of larvae, which, with subsequent swallowing, enter the intestines, where they reach puberty. Hookworms that parasitize cats are not infectious to humans - a separate species parasitizes in humans.
What do dirofilaria worms look like in cats
Dirofilariae belong to the group of cardionematodes - adults parasitize directly in the heart and large blood vessels of the host - the right ventricle and atrium, the pulmonary artery. Photo of worms in cats. A feature of the species is live birth - live larvae are born, bypassing the egg stage. Animals become infected through the bites of blood-sucking insects, which are intermediate hosts of dirofilaria.
The main symptoms of dirofilariasis are cough, difficulty breathing, heart failure. The animal is often depressed, breathing heavily and frequently. Death occurs from cardiac arrest due to physical exertion. The type of dirofilariae parasitizing in cats is also capable of infecting humans.
What do cat fluke worms look like in a cat?
The causative agent of opistochiasis is also called "cat fluke" - a trematode with a wedge-shaped body, tapering from the back to the front of the body. Opisthorchis parasites in the bile ducts and gallbladder of cats. Animals become infected by eating fresh river fish, which is their intermediate host.
The main clinical picture in opisthorchiasis is yellowness of the mucous membranes, allergic manifestations, liquid feces, often light yellow.
The death of the animal occurs as a result of severe invasion, the result of which is blockage of the bile ducts and hepatitis. A person can get sick with opisthorchiasis when eating poorly cooked fish.
What does the worm alaria look like in a cat
Photo of worms in cats. Helminth of a flat shape, parasitizing in cats in the small intestine. Alaria is small - no more than 5 mm in length, the front part of the body is flat, the back is cylindrical. A specific external feature of the species is the presence of "ears" around the oral sucker.
Cats become infected with alarias by eating frogs and tadpoles or mice infected with alaria larvae. Parasites cause significant harm to the host, injuring the intestinal mucosa. Similar to hookworms, alaria can cycle through the lungs, causing pneumonia. Alariosis also affects humans.
What does a tapeworm look like in a cat?
Feline dipylidiosis: The causative agent is a tapeworm about 1.5 meters long, the adult form of which parasitizes in the small intestine of cats. Infection occurs through eating raw fish.
A distinctive sign of lesion in diphyllobothriasis is the squeezing of the spleen through the intestinal wall with a strong concentration of cestodes in the lumen of the small intestine, which causes acute anemia. A person is also susceptible to infection with diphyllobothriasis.
What does the cucumber tapeworm look like in a cat?
Photo of worms in cats. Dipilaria or "cucumber tapeworm" is a tapeworm parasitizing in the small intestine of cats, exerting a strong traumatic effect on its mucous membrane, which inevitably causes inflammation and obstruction.
Often the death of an animal occurs from a ruptured intestine. The intermediate hosts of dipilaria are fleas and lice, when they are swallowed and infection occurs. A person can also be sick with dipilariasis.
What does the echinococcus worm look like in a cat
Echinococci are parasitic tapeworms less than 1 cm in size. When they enter the body of young dogs, they pose a deadly threat.
Infection occurs when eating meat or internal organs of agricultural livestock (pigs, sheep, goats, cows) infected with the larvae of the parasite.
Echinococcus is localized in the intestine. To securely anchor, it penetrates the walls of the organ with hooks, causing mechanical damage.
Uncinariosis in cats
Photo of worms in cats. The disease provocateur is the nematode worm Uncinaria stenocephala, parasitizing in the duodenum of dogs, cats, and wild small fur-bearing animals. The source of infection is infected feed, water. Parasites can enter the body of an animal through the skin, damaging it and causing bleeding, to which bacterial infection easily joins.
Piziform teniosis in cats
The worm that provokes the disease belongs to flat worms (tapeworm Taenia pisiformis), its body length can be up to 2 meters. It parasitizes in the body of domestic animals (dogs and cats) and wild carnivorous animals.
The intermediate hosts of the tapeworm are herbivores - hares / rabbits, from which, when eating raw meat, other animals become infected.
The parasite causes a blockage or intussusception of the intestine, which causes the animal to die.
Hydategyrosis in cats
Photo of worms in cats. The length of the helminth Hydatigera fasciolaris is from 15 to 60 cm, it parasitizes in the body of cats, tigers, and very rarely in dogs. The parasite attacks the small intestine, the larvae can enter the liver cells.
Pets become infected by eating the intermediate hosts of the worm - rats, moles, mice, muskrats, squirrels, and bats.
Treatment of worms in cats
Worms in cats, symptoms and treatment at home, can be done independently, with the help of pills. Do not count on traditional methods, since they are ineffective. Modern medicines can rid a pet of worms in one application.
Before starting any treatment, you need to find out what type of parasites affects the body of your pet. Only laboratory tests of feces will help to make an accurate diagnosis. Depending on the type of identified helminths, medications will be used to combat them.
Make sure that the drug is appropriate for the cat's age. There are different medicines for adults and kittens. Before starting treatment, be sure to read the instructions for using these funds.
Among the most popular medications for dealing with worms in a domestic cat are Polivercan, Pirantel, Dirofen, Profender, Kaniquantel, Troncil K, Febtal and Prazitel for cats. Remember that due to the high demand for such drugs, they are very often counterfeited. Therefore, purchase worm pills for cats only at veterinary pharmacies.
How to give medicine to your cat
There are several ways to give a pill to a pet:
- add powder from a crushed tablet to liquid feed;
- holding the paws of the animal, unclench the jaws and put the pill in your mouth. Then you should pinch your jaws with your fingers, and stroke your throat to induce a swallowing reflex. After swallowing the tablet, release the jaw;
- mix the powder from the crushed tablet with a little water. Pour the syringe into the pet's mouth. The syringe must be without a needle;
The harm that worms do to the cat's body
While there are few parasites, the animal may not notice their presence in its body. But a large number of worms can significantly deplete the body. And the constant increase in the number of helminths will sooner or later lead to the death of the cat.
Worms living in a pet's body harm it in different ways:
- worms feed on the blood, tissues and lymph of their host;
- helminths produce substances that lead to intoxication of the cat's body;
- when the parasite dies, its decomposition products also poison the body of your pet;
- suction cups that attach the worms to organs can damage the mucous membranes of internal organs. This can lead to internal bleeding.
Prevention of worms in cats
Since there are many ways and sources of infection of cats with helminths, it is necessary to follow some rules that will help prevent infestation.
Prevention measures against worms in cats:
- never give a cat raw fish and meat, they must be thoroughly boiled;
- frequent change of litter, the contents of the cat litter box, maintaining their cleanliness, periodic disinfection;
- periodically carry out preventive deworming of a cat: at least once every 3 months (especially for animals that often walk in the fresh air in the yard, park and other walking places), 2 weeks before the intended mating and 10 days before delivery;
- thorough disinfection of places visited by animals after preventive and therapeutic deworming;
- treatment of cats with drugs against fleas, which can also be sources of infestation.
Find out more:
- Nematodes in cats - symptoms, signs, and general treatments
- Treating cats for worms - signs and types of parasites
- Cat helminths - what are the signs and methods of treatment