Ascariasis In Cats - Signs, Symptoms And How To Treat

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Ascariasis In Cats - Signs, Symptoms And How To Treat
Ascariasis In Cats - Signs, Symptoms And How To Treat
Video: Ascariasis In Cats - Signs, Symptoms And How To Treat
Video: How To Tell If Your Cat Has Worms - Cat Health Care! 2023, February

Ascariasis in cats is a frequent and dangerous phenomenon in that worms do not immediately reveal their presence. "Lodgers" of the gastrointestinal tract bring a lot of trouble to animals and their owners, and this is a reason to understand this issue more deeply. Even cats that are constantly at home can become infected with roundworms - the eggs of worms can accidentally fall into the house from the street.

The content of the article:

  • 1 Who are Ascaris - Ascariasis in cats
  • 2 Reasons
  • 3 Symptoms - Ascariasis in cats
  • 4 Signs of ascaris in cats
  • 5 What is the danger of ascariasis for cats
  • 6 Ways of infection of pets
  • 7 Are roundworms in cats transmitted to humans?
  • 8 Danger to humans
  • 9 Diagnosis - Ascariasis in cats
  • 10 Treatment

    10.1 Human treatment

  • 11 Popular drugs for worms in cats
  • 12 Prevention

Who are roundworms - Ascariasis in cats

Roundworms are dioecious roundworms, which are characterized by sex differences in size. Usually females are much larger than males. Ascaris most commonly affects the gastrointestinal tract of cats, although some species can colonize the biliary tract and pancreas.

For cats, 3 types of roundworm are characteristic:

  1. Ascariasis in cats
    Ascariasis in cats

    Toxocara leonine - females usually reach 10 centimeters in length, and males - 6 cm.The body has a yellowish tint. And the head section is equipped with lateral wings and has three lips. It has a simpler cycle, in contrast to Toxacara catti. Eggs are excreted from the body of the main host (cat or dog) along with feces, within 4 days it “matures” - at this time the larva molts inside, thus the egg becomes active for infection. Further, the eggs can directly enter the cat's body, or by eating an intermediate host - a rodent. Not dangerous for people.

  2. Toxocara mystax or Toxacara catti - The main causative agent of ascariasis (toxocariasis) in cats. Males are usually much smaller than females - from 3 to 6 cm, while females are more than 10 cm. The parasite migrates in the cat's body to reach puberty and spreads from the intestines to the lungs and liver, and also damages other organs. From the trachea, the larvae, when they cough up, again enter the digestive tract and complete the cycle. Dangerous to humans.
  3. T. canis - infects not only dogs, but can also parasitize in the intestines of cats.

    According to the development cycle, it completely repeats that of feline toxocara. It is also dangerous for humans, although it does not go through a full cycle in the body, people are intermediate hosts.

The main danger of ascaris is its high contagiousness. When seeding the soil with eggs, they can persist for several years, being the source of the disease.

The reasons

Ascariasis in cats
Ascariasis in cats

Ascariasis in cats. The main route of transmission is through soil, food, grass, interior items contaminated with worm eggs. Parasites can get on the animal's fur and colonize the intestines when licked.

Another alternative route of infection is the intermediate host. In them, roundworms cannot reach puberty and are encapsulated in the nervous system and muscles. A cat becomes infected by eating an infected animal. Rodents, earthworms, frogs, pigs, birds and sheep can act as intermediate hosts.

If the female is pregnant, then the infection of the offspring occurs through the umbilical vein directly into the lungs. There, the parasites enter the trachea of ​​the kittens, further migrating into the intestines and completing the maturation process. This method of infection is typical for canine Toxocara, while Toxacara catti does not infect the fetus.

Toxocars also infect the offspring during breastfeeding, entering the intestines through milk.

One infected cat per day can excrete about 100,000 eggs with feces, which are contained in just 1 gram of feces

Symptoms - Ascariasis in Cats

Ascariasis in cats
Ascariasis in cats

Ascariasis in cats. In adults, toxocariasis rarely causes symptoms of the disease. Basically, signs of the disease appear in kittens. Stunted and underweight, enlarged abdomen, and dull hair are usually common.

Also, the offspring develop:

  • Anemia, expressed in pallor of the mucous membranes and skin.
  • Diarrhea and vomiting. In feces, it is possible to detect blood impurities.
  • Temperature rise possible.
  • Itching of the anus, due to which the cat will constantly lick it.

Due to the migration of larvae, cats may experience complications due to damage to internal organs:

  1. Pneumonia.
  2. Ascites.
  3. Peritonitis.
  4. Cough (due to the release of larvae into the lumen of the trachea).
  5. Liver damage.

With a large number of parasites, the kitten may develop intestinal obstruction, causing constipation. And also the biliary tract is blocked, leading to obstructive jaundice.

Signs of ascaris in cats

Ascariasis in cats. In order not to miss toxocariasis in a pet, the owner must be attentive to his well-being and condition. There is a list of signs by which you can suspect a helminthic invasion in your beloved cat:

  • decreased activity of the animal - he sleeps a lot or lies motionless;
  • delayed growth and development in young animals;
  • dull and shedding coat;
  • thinness against the background of "brutal" appetite;
  • periodic indifference to food;
  • a disproportionately large abdomen, as with bloating;
  • eggs of worms on the "pants" of the animal and around the anus, which is most noticeable when the coat is long and dark;
  • a pale shade of mucous membranes is one of the signs of anemia;
  • vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes with impurities of blood and worms;
  • persistent itching in the anal area, which causes anxiety and causes the cat to aggressively lick the anus.

Why is ascariasis dangerous for cats?

Roundworms in cats cause a chronic disease of toxocariasis. In principle, even the name "roundworm" for roundworms parasitizing in the body of cats and dogs is not entirely accurate. In the intestines of cats and dogs, Toxocara leonina, Toxocara mystax, Toxacara catti live. How they look can be seen in the photo. These parasites belong to the general suborder of roundworms (nematodes) Ascaridata of the genus Ascaris.

It has been clinically proven that roundworms of cats and dogs cannot cause helminthic invasion in humans.

Ascariasis in cats. Canine or feline roundworm eggs cannot develop in the human body, even if they are purposefully planted there. This is due to the fact that the human roundworm in the intestine develops at a temperature of 36.6 degrees, and the roundworm of cats and dogs at a temperature of 38.5 - 39 degrees.

A person can become infected from animals with other worms, therefore, pets need to carry out a full course of deworming once every 3 months, and when a worm infestation is diagnosed - adequate treatment.

Ways of infection of pets

Ascariasis in cats
Ascariasis in cats

Ascariasis in cats. Even if your pets are constantly at home, the possibility of ascariasis in cats cannot be ruled out. The animal can jump out onto the staircase "for a second", can sniff and lick your outdoor shoes, on which there are almost always worm eggs.

Puppies and kittens can swallow eggs in their mother's milk or become infected in utero from a sick mother. Before mating, animals should undergo antihelminthic treatment.

With the feces of a sick animal, the fertilized eggs of parasites enter the soil, where, under favorable conditions, the maturation process takes place. Microscopic mature eggs of worms are carried by flies, ants, and shoes. Gusts of wind during drafts, together with dust, can be brought into the apartment through open windows. It is noteworthy that in direct sunlight, the eggs die after a couple of hours, but they can tolerate frost up to - 25 degrees, being just on the surface of the earth.

Only regular wet cleaning, disinfection of trays, adherence to a sanitary culture of housing, regular deworming and proper treatment can protect pets from parasites.

Ascaris in cats are transmitted to humans?

Quite often, when we see an infected animal, we reflexively scare it away, fearing infection. This is one of the most popular myths. The opinion that roundworms in cats are transmitted to humans, in fact, turns out to be erroneous.

The fact is that round intestinal types of worms in animals do not take root in the human body. It is believed that large roundworms in the body of a pig can take root in humans, but this has not yet been proven by science. The very way of human infection with worms is as follows: viable eggs can enter the body only through the soil, and only from person to person.

Danger to humans

Ascariasis in cats. Although in the human body the worm cannot go through the full sexual cycle, it can still act as an intermediate host. Once in the intestine, the larvae migrate to the muscles, central nervous system, eyes, liver, lungs and heart. There the larvae are encapsulated.

Toxocariasis is especially dangerous for children, in whom it can cause serious complications and lead to death.

Basically, the disease in people is manifested by vomiting, diarrhea, a sharp increase in temperature. Depending on the affected organ, you can observe a decrease in vision, anorexia.

Due to the high fertility of parasites, eggs can enter a person even after stroking a pet. Therefore, it is imperative to wash your hands after playing with your pet!

Among all cases of infection, the largest percentage falls on Toxacara canis, while feline roundworms are found in isolated cases.

Diagnosis - Ascariasis in cats

Ascariasis in cats
Ascariasis in cats

The main diagnostic method is the study of feces for eggs of worms. A threefold sampling is required to exclude a weak invasion. Analyzes are carried out at intervals of 10 days, during which time the helminths will be able to reach puberty and begin to release eggs.

In rare cases, adults can be found in it. Also, worms are found in vomit.

It is advisable to carry out an ultrasound of the abdominal cavity to exclude blockage of the intestinal lumen and biliary tract. Barium contrast x-rays can also be taken.


Ascariasis in cats
Ascariasis in cats

Ascariasis in cats. Therapy for toxocariasis is as simple as that of most helminths. Usually used anthelmintic drugs - pyrantel, albendazole. These agents cause complete paralysis of adult worms and have a detrimental effect on eggs and larvae.

Drug intake regimen:

  1. Pirantel - 5 mg per kg of body weight orally once.
  2. Azipirin - 0.5 tablets once.
  3. Levamisole - 7 ml per kg subcutaneously.

The therapy is repeated 2 weeks after the first dose.

If there is a deterioration in the kitten's condition, Gamavit may be prescribed, an infusion of infusion solutions. With massive invasion, antihistamines and corticosteroids can be used to relieve the phenomena of intoxication.

Surgery is performed if the intestines or bile ducts are blocked.

It is imperative to sanitize the cat's bowls, drinkers, tray, and bed. All blankets and bedspreads on which the cat sleeps should also be treated with disinfectants. Rinse floors and surfaces.

Human treatment

Ascariasis in cats. Usually, treatment of ascariasis caused by feline or canine toxocars is not required, the disease goes away on its own over time. Exceptions are eye and central nervous system lesions. Anthelmintic drugs are also used; surgical removal of parasites is possible.

Popular drugs for worms in cats

If someone tried to view and compare the instructions for the remedies for helminths for cats, then he drew attention to the fact that almost all tablets usually contain two substances:

one of which acts on roundworms (usually piperazine, pyrantel, fenbendazole, milbemycin or emodepsid),

the other is effective against flukes and tape parasites (praziquantel)

Therefore, it is rather difficult to try to distinguish among them something extraordinary and super effective, since the chemicals are basically the same and they work against the same helminths:

  • Tohosaga cati,
  • Ancylostoma tubaeforme,
  • Ancylostoma braziliense,
  • Echinococcus granulosus,
  • Echinococcus multi-locularis,
  • Dipylidium caninum,
  • Taenia spp.,
  • Mesocestoides spp.,
  • Joyeuxiella sp.

To this group of universal remedies with the same set of active substances, we include:

  • Ascariasis in cats
    Ascariasis in cats

    drontal - tablets, used from three weeks of age;

  • profender - drops, approved for use from five weeks of age,

prazicide - suspension, not recommended for babies under three weeks of age

pratel - tablets

troncil K - used for kittens from 3 weeks

febtal - pills based on fenbendazole

kanikvantel - used for cats and kittens, starting from three weeks

milbemax (no earlier than six weeks of age) - it is worth highlighting, because the active substance (mibelmicin oxy) against nematodes not only kills intestinal worms, but also acts on dirofilariae that live in the bloodstream and heart of the animal

Unlike these drugs, polivercan is based on other active principles: niclosamide (cestode action) and oxybendazole (anti-nematode), but at the same time it also retains the title of broad-spectrum anthelmintic.

In pharmacy kiosks, you can find another antiparasitic drug in the form of drops - Inspector, which has not only anthelmintic properties, but is also capable of simultaneously affecting fleas and ticks, which is very convenient: you can get rid of all parasites at once. It contains two chemicals:

fipronil is an excellent insecticide that, after being applied to the skin, tends to accumulate in its lubricant and hair follicles. Released over a long period of time, it provides continued activity. Not recommended for kittens under 3 months of age, as well as sick and old animals, due to possible negative consequences

  • moxidectin - belongs to the group of avermectins, but unlike ivmermectin, it does not cause signs of poisoning in cats, even with an overdose. Works well against roundworms and is an excellent preventive measure against dirofilariasis.

    With a positive test for microrofilaria and adults, they are prescribed with caution, due to the high probability of death of the animal from intoxication as a result of the decay of helminths.

Recently, information has appeared that drugs drontal, prazitel, prazicide are often counterfeited, so you should be careful with their use. Not only will these remedies not rid the cat of worms, but they can be fatal. Therefore, if you are not sure about the quality of the medicine, and the veterinary pharmacy does not have a license for it, then it is better to refuse such a dubious purchase.


Ascariasis in cats
Ascariasis in cats

Ascariasis in cats. Veterinary drugs for the prevention of ascariasis are available in the form of tablets, syrups, suspensions or drops. For small animals it is better to take drops or syrup, as it can be difficult for them to swallow the tablet. Manufacturers make modern remedies for worms with the taste of meat, fish or other products so that the animal does not throw it away.

If it does not work out, then the tablet must be put into a piece of cheese, melted in the microwave for a few seconds, sued and given to the animal. Hard cheese tastes very strong and can easily drown out the smell and taste of the tablet. So you don't have to forcibly prevent ascariasis in cats.

  • Timely preventive deworming. For cats visiting the street - once every three months, for pets - once every six months.
  • Put your outdoor shoes in the closet to avoid contact with your pet.
  • Avoid eating birds and rodents.
  • Be sure to carry out treatment for worms when planning a mating.
  • Place a shoe cleaning mat in front of the door.
  • Remove the tray regularly.
  • It is advisable to restrict free access to the street.
  • Obligatory treatment for fleas and wearing a special collar or using drops on the withers.
  • It is advisable to choose ready-made commercial food, and also to exclude raw fish and meat.
  • Use of purified water.

Find out more:

  • Kitten Worms: Symptoms, Signs and Treatment
  • Worms in cats: signs, symptoms, treatment and medications
  • Worms in cats: symptoms, treatment, prevention

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