Symptoms And Treatment Of Pulmonary Worms In Cats

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Symptoms And Treatment Of Pulmonary Worms In Cats
Symptoms And Treatment Of Pulmonary Worms In Cats

Video: Symptoms And Treatment Of Pulmonary Worms In Cats

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: Lungworm Infection in a Cat with Doc Pawsitive! 2023, February
cough with worms in a cat
cough with worms in a cat

Cats often suffer from helminths - parasitic worms, and not only stray animals, but also pets can become infected. Living in various internal organs and tissues, parasites cause serious diseases and cause significant damage to the feline body. Often, certain difficulties arise in the diagnosis of helminthic invasion. For example, worms in the lungs of a cat cause coughing and other symptoms that are similar to respiratory infections and inflammatory airways disease. It is important to correctly determine the cause of the ailment so that the treatment of the furry sufferer is successful, and the damage to his health is minimal.


  1. Types of pulmonary worms
  2. Pulmonary worms nematodes
  3. Pulmonary flukes
  4. Hookworm
  5. Toxocars
  6. Infection symptoms
  7. Treatment of pulmonary invasion
  8. Output

Types of pulmonary worms

Specific lung worms parasitizing the respiratory tract are rare. There are only a few species of them, and only three of them are found in cats: roundworms aylurostrongylus (Aeleurostrongylus abstrusus) and air capillaria (Capillaria aerophilia), as well as schistozomes, flatworms from the genus Paragonimus. Most of the representatives of the world of endoparasites live in the intestines, spending only part of their life cycle in the lungs.

Pulmonary worms nematodes

Ailurostrongilus are hair-like helminths, thin, no more than 1 cm long. Parasitize in the lungs; have a complex development cycle:

  1. Together with feces, the larvae enter the ground, where they are swallowed by slugs and land snails - intermediate hosts.
  2. These, in turn, become food for rodents, birds and frogs.
  3. By eating them, the cat becomes infected.
  4. In the cyst stage, parasites take up residence in the intestines. The worms developed from them with the flow of blood and lymph migrate to the lungs.
  5. Having reached the lungs, the worms lay eggs, from which the larvae develop. They begin to move, irritate the mucous membranes and cause coughing. With phlegm, the larvae enter the mouth, are swallowed and again, together with the feces, fall on the ground. There they have a chance to be swallowed by snails and continue their life cycle.
Air capillaria
Air capillaria

Air capillaria - a filamentous nematode, parasitizes in the respiratory tract and nasal cavity. The intermediate host is an earthworm. The larvae that enter the lumen of the bronchi, the cat swallows when coughing, then they go out with excrement.

When infected with A. abstrussus, the larvae in the form of a comma or a spiral are found in the feces or sputum. Capillary cysts resemble whipworm eggs. In some cases, when a diagnosis of worm infestation is made, the possibility of pulmonary worm damage should be considered.

Pulmonary flukes

Worms from the trematode class form cysts in the small bronchi, destroying lung tissue. A ruptured cyst can lead to pulmonary failure. The sources of infection are raw fish, shellfish, frogs and crayfish. Contact of a cat with feces of a sick animal is dangerous.

The latent stage of the disease caused by certain pulmonary worms can last from several days to six months. It is difficult to understand that a cat has worms during this period. The duration of the clinical form, when the symptomatology is pronounced, is from 9 months to 2 years. The lifespan of the helminth depends on its type. After the death of the parasites, the animal is cured if the infection does not occur again.

There are other types of helminths that can be found in the lungs. These are hookworms and toxocars.


Ancylostoma caninum is a thin, filamentous nematode. Infection occurs through contact with the feces of a sick animal or soil contaminated with larvae. The larvae are able to independently penetrate the skin of the pads of the cat's paws. Migrating larvae pass through the lungs, then settle in the intestines for maturation. Eggs are found in feces within 14 days from the moment of infection. The life span of the parasite is about a year. The invasion is manifested by anemia and severe diarrhea, and to a lesser extent cough.


Round worm Toxocara cati causes toxocariasis. Once in the intestines of the cat, the worms multiply. The larvae with blood flow reach the lungs, where they irritate the trachea, stimulate coughing and are swallowed again. Once in the intestines again, they reach puberty.

The treatment does not work on cysts - larvae protected by capsules. For this reason, many kittens are infected with roundworms at birth.

Worms that look like white earthworms can be found in feces and vomit. With poor treatment of the toilet of an animal, a person can also become infected with toxocara.

The developmental cycle of pulmonary worms in cats
The developmental cycle of pulmonary worms in cats

Infection symptoms

Symptoms are not specific, since they only report the trouble of the respiratory system. The first signs of worms: dry, intense cough and runny nose. Then the cough becomes moist, sputum appears, in the clots of which the eggs of the parasite are found.

Other possible symptoms:

  • anemia;
  • weight loss;
  • noisy breathing;
  • chronic cough associated with an associated bacterial infection.
  • high temperature.

The waste products of parasites have toxic and allergic effects. Sick cats have behavioral changes and are nervous. Lowered appetite.

The most severe helminthic invasion is carried by young animals at the age of 3-4 months. If the worms enter the alveoli of the lungs from the bloodstream, the kittens develop pneumonia.

In adult cats with good immunity, the disease may not manifest itself with any symptoms.

To make a diagnosis, a study of sputum and feces is necessary.

The radiograph shows no abnormalities. X-rays are taken to rule out other causes of cough.

Treatment of pulmonary invasion

Means that are used to treat helminthic invasions of cats, including those with lung damage:

  • Levamisole (Decaris) by injection;
  • Fenbendazole (Panakur is a powder, it is added to feed; the drug "Febtal" is produced in the form of tablets);
  • Ivermectin (Ivomek, Ivermek);
  • Praziquantel (Pratel);
  • Drontal;
  • Milbemax (tablets, there is a dosage form for kittens).

With the development of secondary bacterial bronchitis or pneumonia, antibiotics are used.

Most of the drugs have a wide spectrum of action and are capable of destroying various types of helminths: nematodes, cestodes and trematodes.

Note that both Levamisole and Fenbendazole are banned for use in USDA cats. In Russia, the first drug belongs to the III degree of toxicity, and the second is considered to be low toxic.

Anthelmintics in the form of drops on the withers are used as prevention and treatment. Most often these are "Advocate" drops from nematodes and "Stronghold" from all types of parasites

It is important to apply in accordance with the instructions.

Getting rid of lung worms is not easy, but the right approach and an experienced veterinarian will help cure your cat. If the cat has strong immunity, the prognosis is usually good. With irrational treatment, complications arise: bacterial pneumonia, pulmonary edema, scarring of the lung tissue.


Worms are not only dangerous for cats. A number of helminthiases are also transmitted to people if the rules of hygiene are not followed when caring for a pet, for example, when cleaning the tray. To avoid troubles, it is necessary to limit contacts of a pet with stray cats and conduct deworming in time.

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