Table of contents:
- General information about helminthic invasion
- How to tell if a cat has worms
- Where do worms live in a cat's body?
- Signs of helminthiasis in a cat
- Types of worms in cats
- Symptoms of worms in cats
- The harm that worms do to the cat's body
- How to deworm a cat from worms
- Prevention of worms in cats
There are many varieties of cat helminths that can parasitize pets. As a rule, the onset of infection is not characterized by the appearance of any symptoms, but over time, the animal may become lethargic, restless, lose appetite, and often itch.
The content of the article:
- 1 General information about helminthic invasion
- 2 How to tell if a cat has worms
- 3 Where do worms live in a cat's body
4 Signs of helminthiasis in a cat
- 4.1 Manifestations associated with the movement of parasites through the blood and tissues
- 4.2 Cat helminths - signs of the chronic stage
5 Types of worms in cats
- 5.1 Cat helminths - roundworms (round worms)
- 5.2 Cat helminths - tape (cestodes)
- 5.3 Cat helminths - nematodes
- 5.4 Cat helminths - cucumber tapeworms
- 5.5 Cat helminths - hookworm
- 5.6 Opisthorchiasis in cats
- 6 Symptoms of worms in cats
- 7 The harm that worms do to the body of a cat
- 8 How to deworm a cat from worms
- 9 Prevention of worms in cats
General information about helminthic invasion
The most common disease among cats is worms or helminthic diseases of cats. Owners of their pets should clearly understand that helminthic diseases can occur even if your pets did not leave your apartment.
They can become infected with existing parasitic worms through eggs of various helminthiases brought from the street on the soles of their shoes. Cats during walks, in close contact with the environment, expose themselves to the danger of becoming infected with helminth eggs, which are in large numbers on a variety of objects.
Cat helminths. A particularly great danger in this respect is the direct contact of your cat with other stray, stray animals. Being essentially predators, cats never refuse raw fish or meat offered to them, which in our time of market relations can be infected with helminthic infestation.
Some types of worms cause characteristic pronounced symptoms of a worm disease, other worms, for a long period of time, hiding in the muscles or liver of a cat do not show themselves in any way. Considering the above, cat owners need to carry out preventive deworming, anthelmintic drugs.
How to tell if a cat has worms
In fact, finding out that a cat has worms is quite difficult. The fact is that worms are different, and some do not "mention" themselves for a very long time, forcing the cat to suffer for a while, until the owner himself sounds the alarm.
The presence of worms can be accurately determined only by a veterinarian. The fact is that some helminths do not come out right away, and only an experienced doctor will be able to examine the internal organs of a cat and establish what worries him so much.
Some types of worms and worm eggs are not contained in the feces, so you still have to sometimes deworm. This will protect your pet from the appearance of new types of helminths, and you will definitely not worry about his health.
The most important procedure for detecting the presence of worms in a cat is the analysis of feces.
Cat helminths - the symptoms also manifest themselves in different ways. They want rumors that worms can cause an increase, or, conversely, a decrease in appetite. In fact, it is not at all necessary, the cat can continue to eat as usual.
Also, cats will constantly scratch, try to lick the back of the body, in the area of the tail and anus. Characteristic irritation may appear. All this can be a signal that the cat needs deworming.
In general, cats tolerate worm disease quite calmly. In most cases, they leave your pet's body on their own. But it is imperative to carry out the procedure to remove worms, since they can multiply so endlessly in the body of cats, constantly killing her, sucking out all the juices from her.
This has a very detrimental effect on the condition of the cat, and you would hardly want to constantly watch how your pet is suffering. So, a timely procedure for removing worms will save your cat from torment, and the parasites will not spread to all other family members.
Where do worms live in a cat's body?
The signs of the disease when parasitized by one or another type of worms in cats is largely determined by the site of localization of the invasion. And there are a lot of these places in the body. Worms can settle and further destroy the balance of the living system in almost any organ.
In rare cases, helminths can be located in organs and tissues of the host unusual for their biology, then they speak of "perverted localization". With this form of the disease, the parasitic worm for the most part cannot go through the full course of development, but the body still experiences some signs of discomfort.
Cat helminths can be found in the intestines; stomach; liver; lungs; kidneys; bladder; and even in the heart or eyes.
In addition, the so-called transit localization is also distinguished, when the larvae or eggs pass through the cat's body without lingering anywhere and without exerting any negative effect on health. Mostly representatives of felines are affected by: intestinal parasites: roundworms (ascariasis, toxacorosis); hepatic: flukes (opisthorchiasis).
Signs of helminthiasis in a cat
Cat helminths, which have colonized the intestines in moderation, are almost harmless. Problems appear if there are many parasites, as well as during the migration of larvae. Rare parasites are dangerous that do not live in the lumen of the intestine, but in other internal organs.
Manifestations associated with the movement of parasites through the blood and tissues
- an allergic response - itching, hives (skin rash);
- problems with the respiratory system if the lungs are damaged - cough, shortness of breath;
- enlarged liver, spleen, jaundice;
- fever, intoxication.
Cat helminths - signs of a chronic stage
- dull coat, constant shedding;
- itching in the anus: the cat "rides on the priest", actively licks itself, hair falls out around the anus;
- admixture of blood, mucus in feces;
- recurrent vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea;
- unstable appetite (the cat either refuses to eat, or eats, as if not into itself);
- in kittens: growth and development retardation, anemia, abdominal enlargement, signs of intoxication.
Types of worms in cats
There are many types of worms. Depending on which worm parasitizes in the body (tapeworm, fluke, flat or round), there are nematodes, trematodes, toxocariasis, opisthorchiasis and cestodoses. Currently, there are more than 30 species of parasites in this group.
Although all types of parasitic worms can infect animals, the most common types of worms in cats are round or tapeworms.
Cat helminths - roundworms (round worms)
Roundworms are one of the most common types of helminths in cats and resemble spaghetti in appearance. The length of the parasites does not exceed 5 cm, but sometimes longer individuals are found. The maximum number of ascaris is observed in the small intestine.
With significant accumulations, blockage of the bile ducts and the intestinal lumen occurs. This group of parasites is very dangerous for cats, since their waste products are extremely toxic to the body and, if untimely deworming, can cause severe intoxication and allergic reactions.
Cat helminths - Ascaris (round worms). These nasty creatures are most commonly found in cats. The greatest risk of infection is in small kittens (25% to 75%). They live in the small intestine or bile ducts, near the pancreas.
Toxocara cati is about 3-10 cm long, while Toxocara leonina is slightly larger. Babies are infected from their parents through milk or food. After 20 days, roundworms can produce offspring. An intermediate host is not needed for such helminths.
Cat helminths - tape (cestodes)
Cestodes, or tape flat parasites, have a length of 10 to 80 cm. The body of the worm consists of multiple segments, or segments. Cats can become infected by eating an intermediate host such as fleas or rodents, which carry this parasite.
In infected animals, segments of helminths can be seen, which in appearance resemble grains of rice, on the wool in the anus or in feces. Cestodes parasitize the lungs of animals.
Unlike roundworms, tapeworms more often infect adults than kittens. These helminths cannot do without an intermediate host, and the infection in a cat occurs during a meal.
Rodents or beetles become the carrier. They settle in the small intestine, where they are attached to the intestinal walls with the help of suckers. When fleas are swallowed, the risk of worms in animals increases. These insects may have immature tapeworms in their intestines.
Cat helminths - nematodes
Nematodes (ankylostomatidosis of carnivores). They are also roundworms and in their structure they are close to roundworms, but they have their own differences. They are small, threadlike, about 6-13 cm long. Sucking on the intestinal walls, they begin to feed on the blood of their poor host.
It is very easy for a cat to become infected if it walks on soil contaminated with feces. Through the lungs, the larvae enter the stomach, and after a couple of weeks, their eggs can be found in the cat's feces.
Small kittens infected with hookworms can even die from prolonged diarrhea or anemia. In adult animals, the course of the disease is secretive, and it is not so pronounced.
Cat helminths - cucumber tapeworms
Dipylidium caninum, a cucumber tapeworm, is a parasite in cats and other carnivores. The length of an adult is 15-40 cm, and the development cycle takes place with the participation of intermediate hosts - fleas or lice.
The segments of the tapeworm crawl out of the anus or are excreted together with feces and actively move. The eggs of the parasite accumulate on the skin and hair of the cat, and also contaminate the litter, soil and the entire environment.
Fleas eat these eggs and become intermediate hosts of the cucumber tapeworm. The cat becomes infected by swallowing a flea, which happens very often when these ectoparasites attack.
Many of these tapeworms can live in the feline body at the same time. Homeless animals are infected almost without exception.
Infection with these parasites occurs when cats have ectoparasites - fleas or lice - that carry the eggs of worms. In a cat's body, the size of tapeworms can exceed 30 cm, and in a human body, under favorable conditions, more than a meter.
A very unpleasant and dangerous type of internal parasite. The chains with the help of sharp thorns are fixed on the intestinal walls, affecting the mucous membranes.
Cat helminths - hookworm
Ankylostomosis - Ankylostomosis. A whitish nematode with a reddish tint. In her mouth she has a capsule in which there are three pairs of symmetrically located teeth. The teeth are curved inward like hooks, and those on the side are larger than the rest. Hookworms - males reach 9-12 mm in length, females do not grow more than 21 mm.
Oval-shaped eggs are excreted in the feces. One hookworm lays about 16 thousand eggs every day. Hookworms have a lifespan of 43 to 100 weeks. In the body of a cat, the larvae develop into adult worms after 17 days.
Adults are localized in the intestines, feed on blood, causing anemia in the cat. Infection of a cat occurs in two ways - orally (swallowing eggs) and through the skin (larvae are introduced into the circulatory system through the skin).
Opisthorchiasis in cats
Cat helminths - opisthorchiasis - Opisthorchosis - is caused by a parasitic trematode in the hepatic ducts and gallbladder. The causative agent is an inseparably hollow trematode with a flat body, 0.5 cm long. Has two suction cups - oral and abdominal. At the back of the first is the mouth leading to the pharynx, followed by the esophagus and 2 intestinal trunks.
Opisthorchis develop with the participation of an intermediate host - a freshwater gill mollusk and additional hosts - cyprinids (ide, dace, chebak, roach, bream, rudd, etc.).
A cat becomes infected by eating raw fish infested with metacercariae. The duration of development of opisthorchis from the egg to the sexually mature stage is about 4 months.
From the eggs swallowed by the mollusc, larvae develop - cercariae, which go out into the water and actively penetrate into the body of cyprinids, encyst in their subcutaneous tissue, muscles, turning into metacercariae.
Symptoms of worms in cats
Usually there are not so many parasites in the body of a cat, so the disease can be almost invisible. However, this is the main danger: as long as you think that your cat is "clean", he can already pose a serious threat. For this reason, veterinarians recommend not to wait for any symptoms of the disease, but to carry out deworming at least once a quarter.
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.
Cat helminths. 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.
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 the body of a pet 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.
How to deworm a cat from worms
The owner of the cat, before doing deworming himself, first of all needs to know exactly what kind of helminth your cat is infected with. You will not be able to do this without going to a veterinary clinic. The fact is that each anthelmintic acts on a certain type of worms parasitizing in a cat.
Therefore, you need to contact a veterinarian or take fresh feces to a veterinary clinic, where they will write a referral for the cat feces you brought to the veterinary laboratory to determine the type of parasite.
In veterinary pharmacies for deworming cats, the following drugs are sold: Panakur, Febtal, Dirofen, Pyrantel, Polivercan, Prazitel, Profender.
Prevention of worms in cats
In order for your cat to be healthy and could not infect your children constantly revolving around a common pet, it is necessary to timely prevent the appearance of worms in a cat.
In order to prevent helminthiasis in a cat, you need to fight:
- with fleas;
- it is necessary to exclude raw fish and meat from the cat's diet;
- exclude contact of your cat with stray animals;
- periodically disinfect the litter box;
- store your clothes and shoes in closed cabinets and cabinets;
- after contact with a cat, especially children need to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water;
- regularly carry out deworming.
Find out more:
- Worms in kittens - symptoms, signs, treatment methods
- Drops from worms on the withers for cats: popular drugs
- Tablet for worms for cats - what to eat and how to take