Nematodes In Cats - Symptoms, Signs, And General Treatments

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Nematodes In Cats - Symptoms, Signs, And General Treatments
Nematodes In Cats - Symptoms, Signs, And General Treatments

Video: Nematodes In Cats - Symptoms, Signs, And General Treatments

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Video: Diagnostic Features of Intestinal Nematodes 2023, February
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Nematodes in cats are a type of worm infestation that is caused by roundworms. When infected, the cat's behavior can change, most often it loses its appetite, becomes lethargic and drowsy.

The content of the article:

  • 1 Who are nematodes
  • 2 What types of worms are most common in cats
  • 3 Symptoms of worms in cats
  • 4 Diagnosis of hookworms in cats
  • 5 Roundworms, or hookworms in cats
  • 6 Why nematodes are dangerous for cats
  • 7 Nematodes in cats

    • 7.1 Toxocaroses
    • 7.2 Trichinellosis (Trichinellosis)
    • 7.3 Nematodosis: Toxascariasis
    • 7.4 Ankylostomosis
  • 8 Prevention of nematodes in cats

Who are nematodes

Nematodes in cats are roundworms. There are thousands of varieties of nematodes, but only a small percentage parasitize animals. Certain varieties can be found in almost any tissue of the body. Some move throughout the host's body at various stages of their development.

Nematosis in cats
Nematosis in cats

As they migrate throughout the body, they can cause diseases that are more difficult to treat than when these parasites are in the intestines. Nematodes are the cause of parasitic infestations, collectively called nematodes, which affect nearly 3 billion people worldwide.

The vast majority of representatives of this group have an elongated body, its length can vary from 0.3 mm to 8.5 m (for example, Placetonema gigantissima, found in the intestines of whales and sperm whales). Nematodes are found in the body of humans, animals, freshwater and marine life.

Nematodes in cats. These microorganisms belong to the class of roundworms, the Latin name is Nematoda, the type of primary cavity primary stomas (Prostomia), the molting group. They can live independently or parasitize at the expense of another organism.

Moreover, their life cycle can take place either completely in the internal organs of the "host", or only partially. For example, the well-known pinworms lay their eggs on the skin near the anus. Most nematodes are heterosexual, and males are usually smaller than females in size.

Although sometimes there are hermaphrodites. By and large, the body of the worms can be compared to a tube in a tube. The outside of the parasite is covered with cuticles. It protects it from the aggressive environment of the digestive tract and mechanical stress. Under the cuticle lies a layer of hypodermis, where metabolic processes take place.

Nematosis in cats
Nematosis in cats

Intracavitary fluid and internal organs are covered with bands of muscle tissue. Nematodes have a well-developed digestive, respiratory, excretory and nervous system. But in their body there are no blood vessels and respiratory organs, and waste products are released into the environment through the pores of the cuticle.

Unlike other parasites, nematodes do not have any suckers and do not attach to the epithelium, so they need to actively move to stay in the host's body. This fact explains the development of the muscle tissue of the parasites. The principles of treatment of helminthic invasions are based on this.

Helminths of this group lay eggs in the external environment, where larvae mature in them, which go outside in the digestive tract of the "host".

Many pills simply paralyze microorganisms, and they are removed from the intestines during the process of peristalsis. Although some microorganisms can grow in the soil. Usually, nematodes parasitize in the digestive tract of humans or animals, but there are species that live in the lymphatic and blood vessels, connective and nervous tissue, and subcutaneous tissue.

What types of worms are most common in cats

Feline nematodes are the most common internal parasites in cats. Similar to spaghetti, adult worms reach a length of 8-10 centimeters. Cats can become infected with these parasites in several ways.

Kittens can become infected with worms through the milk of infected mothers, while adult cats can become infected by eating infected rodents or feces from sick cats. One of the most famous roundworm parasites is the hookworm. Hookworms are much smaller in size than other roundworms - less than 2 to 3 centimeters long.

They live mainly in the small intestine. Since these worms feed on animal blood, they can cause life-threatening anemia, especially in kittens. Hookworm eggs are found in the feces of a cat. They then hatch into larvae, which can infect other animals and humans, penetrating the body through the skin on contact or together with contaminated food and water.

Note that hookworms are more common in dogs than cats.

Long and flat, tapeworms reach a length of 10 to 70 centimeters, and their body consists of numerous segments (segments). The infection causes vomiting and weight loss. Cats become infected with tapeworms by eating an intermediate host, such as infected fleas or rodents. In an infected cat, it is common to see segments (segments of a worm) resembling grain of rice on the fur around the anus.

Unlike intestinal parasites, pulmonary worms parasitize the cat's lungs. Most cats show no signs of pulmonary worms, but some develop a cough. Snails and slugs are the most common intermediate hosts for this parasite, but cats tend to become infected by eating infected birds or rodents.

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.

Nematosis in cats
Nematosis in cats

With a weak invasion (defeat), signs of the disease may be absent altogether. The main symptoms can be noted, which may indirectly indicate a possible infection of the cat with worms.

Symptoms of worms in cats:

  • 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 nematodes in cats

In order to make an accurate diagnosis of the presence of nematodes in the body, it is necessary to conduct a scatological examination of feces (feces analysis) to determine the worm eggs. 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.

Nematosis in cats
Nematosis in cats

Nematodes in cats. 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.

Roundworms, or hookworms in cats

Nematosis in cats
Nematosis in cats

The most common helminthiasis in domestic cats, caused by long (up to 10 cm in length) ascaris worms is ascariasis. Kittens become infected from a mother cat with milk, while adult animals become infected by ingesting an infected rodent or feces from another cat.

Other nematodes parasitizing cats include hookworms. These worms are smaller and parasitize in the small intestine.

The main danger to an infected cat is that hookworms feed on blood, which can cause, especially in kittens, severe anemia - anemia.

The larvae enter the host's body not only with mother's milk or when ingested, but also through the skin. More often, however, hookworm infection occurs not in cats, but in dogs.

Why are nematodes dangerous for cats?

Nematodes in cats that live in the blood and body tissues are not only disgusting, but also dangerous. Helminths feed on lymph, blood and organ tissues, depleting the host's body. All types of worms release substances into the body that cause intoxication.

Nematosis in cats
Nematosis in cats

Dead parasites decompose, which also leads to poisoning. Serious allergic reactions are possible. Helminths injure tissues with fixation devices, which can lead to necrosis and even rupture of an organ or a blood vessel.

Dangerous signs of worms - constipation and a swollen abdomen - speak of intestinal obstruction, which can lead to the death of the pet (the worms multiplied so much that they blocked the intestinal lumen, making it impossible for the natural release of processed nutrient masses).

Nematodes in cats

Toxocariasis (Toxocaroses)

Helminthiases in cats are diseases caused by helminths - parasitic worms that live in various internal organs and tissues of animals and humans. Cats are usually parasitized by helminths from the classes of trematodes (Tgematoda) - flukes, cestodes (Cestoda) - tape and round worms (Nematoda).

The causative agent is the Ascaris Tohosaga mystax from the suborder Ascaridata. The nematode is light yellow in color, the head end has three lips and wide lateral wings. The length of the male is 5-10 cm, the caudate end is bent, at its apex there is a cone-shaped appendage and two equal spicules. The length of the female is 9-12 cm, the tail is straight. Toxocar eggs are round, 0.068-0.075 mm in diameter, covered with a honeycomb shell.

Nematodes in cats. Helminths have a strong pathogenic effect on the body of cats. Kittens are especially affected, the death of adult animals is often noted. Along with this, there are diseases common to animals and humans.

The developmental cycle proceeds in a direct way according to the ascaris type with the migration of larvae through the blood of the definitive host. Intrauterine infection is possible.

Cats become infected by alimentary means. Pathogens, parasitizing in the small intestines, migrate and penetrate into various organs, encyst and do not lose their invasive properties for a long time.

A symptom of this disease may be the developed pneumonia with a cough, which is caused by the passage of larvae through the lungs. And in kittens, the intestinal form is more common, which is accompanied by diarrhea and constipation, as well as perverted appetite, bloating, colic, and emaciation.

Kittens also have underdevelopment, rickets, and sometimes epileptic seizures. Adult animals rarely get sick and are usually asymptomatic, i.e. without noticeable clinical signs.

Nematosis in cats
Nematosis in cats

For the treatment of toxocariasis, piperazine salts (0.2-0.4 g per 1 kg of animal weight) are usually used three times, i.e. for three consecutive days, feeding with food. Nilverm is also recommended (15-20 mg per 1 kg) - a single dose.

An accurate diagnosis of toxocariasis can only be made when the eggs of the parasite are found in the feces.

As a prophylaxis for the incidence of toxocariasis, the feces of cats should be removed regularly, as well as periodically examined for the presence of helminth eggs in the feces, and, if necessary, deworming the animals. It is also necessary to destroy synanthropic rodents as possible carriers of the invasion.

Trichinellosis (Trichinellosis)

The causative agent is Trichinella spiralis from the Trichinellidae family. Parasitizes cats, foxes, arctic foxes, martens, dogs, lynxes, rats and many wild animals. Sexually mature helminths parasitize in the intestines of animals.

Reinfection of cats occurs when eating infected non-neutralized meat waste affected by Trichinella larvae, when eating dead animals or carcasses of killed animals.

The diagnosis during the life of animals is made on the basis of immunological (RCC) studies of cats, as well as an assessment of clinical and epizootological data; posthumously - based on the results of compression trichinelloscopy or digestion of the calf muscles in artificial gastric juice.

Nematodosis: Toxascariasis

Toxascariasis is a disease of cats caused by nematodes that live and reproduce in the intestines of their hosts. The causative agent of toxascariasis is large nematode helminths up to 10 cm long. The eggs of this parasite are round, with a smooth outer shell - this is how they differ from toxocara eggs.

Nematosis in cats
Nematosis in cats

Nematodes in cats. The eggs of nematodes, once in the external environment, complete their development and larvae are fully formed in them, which become invasive already on the 8-9th day. Once in the intestines of the animal, the larvae penetrate its walls, and then, on about the 9th day, they again go out into the intestinal lumen, where after 3-4 weeks they become sexually mature.

Toxascariasis, like their hosts, is quite widespread. Their eggs are resistant to environmental factors and therefore can persist for a long time in the soil, so infection can occur at any time of the year. Infection of healthy animals occurs with food and water or through rodents.

The diagnosis of toxocariasis is established on the basis of scatological studies. All preventive measures, as well as treatment, are the same as for toxocariasis.

Outwardly, signs of toxocariasis are less pronounced than with toxocariasis. Although during infection, intestinal inflammation is observed, there is a violation of appetite, sometimes diarrhea, general emaciation of animals.

Ankylostomosis

Ankylostomiasis is a nematodosis in dogs, cats and other carnivores caused by round helminths of the Ancylostomatidae family. Helminths parasitize in the small intestine. The disease is characterized by impaired digestion in the animal and skin lesions during the migration of larvae.

Nematosis in cats
Nematosis in cats

The causative agent is Ancylostoma caninum - a thin nematode up to 21 mm long. It is characteristic that a large oral capsule contains two chitinous plates, in which 3 hook-shaped teeth protrude at the edges. Eggs are gray, oval, 0.06-0.08 x 0.04-0.05 mm in size, contain blastomeres.

Animals can become infected in two ways: when the larvae are swallowed with food and when the larvae themselves are actively introduced through the skin. If in the first case the larvae, having entered the intestines with food, develop rapidly and reach sexual maturity in 14-16 days, then in the second they migrate with blood to the heart, then to the lungs, bronchioles, bronchi and trachea.

Further, they are swallowed with mucus and grow to the sexually mature stage in 18-22 days, i.e. 4-6 days longer than in the first case.

Hookworms are hematophages (they feed on blood). In the oral cavity they have glands, the secretions of which hemolyze the blood, which contributes to its flow and hemorrhage. The disease is diagnosed by examining feces according to the Fülleborn method. Eggs are differentiated from uncinaria eggs by their size. After the death of the animal, the intestines are opened to detect nematodes.

Prevention of nematodes in cats

Nematosis in cats
Nematosis in cats

Nematodes in cats. Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely protect a cat from nematode infection. But it is possible to prevent the proliferation of parasites, preventing them from causing serious harm to the health of the pet. To do this, you need to regularly use complex pills for worms: pets - once every four months, walking - once every three months.

Kittens are given a sweet suspension at three weeks of age and two weeks before the first vaccination. Deworming of adult animals is carried out two weeks before vaccination and before mating.

Effective drugs: caniquantel, prazicide, pyrantel, profender, drontal.

Prevention includes adherence to hygiene measures and some restrictions on the habits and diet of the pet:

  • solid waste must be removed from the tray immediately;
  • after changing the filler and cleaning the tray, wash your hands thoroughly;
  • a bell on a collar will prevent a cat from catching a mouse or a bird;
  • you can not feed the pet with raw meat and fish.

Find out more:

  • Treating cats for worms - signs and types of parasites
  • Getting infected with worms from a cat - is it possible?
  • Cat helminths - what are the signs and methods of treatment

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