Of all the health topics cat owners consider, intestinal worms rarely make the list, especially if the cat stays in the home exclusively and never has adventures in the great outdoors. Here are the other worm worries to watch out for in cats:
(Toxocara cati, Toxascaris leonina) are the most common type of worm to infect the animal kingdom. If a roundworm burden is heavy, a cat may vomit these worms or pass them (whole) in the stool. Roundworms are zoonotic (can be transferred to humans) and can cause an infection known as “Visceral Larva Migrans,” that may result in inflammation of muscle tissue and blindness. Anthelmintics (de-wormers) that are frequently used to treat roundworms are pyrantel pamoate, fenbendazole and piperazine.
(Ancylostoma braziliense) are blood-sucking intestinal parasites and have the ability to cause anemia and sometimes death in kittens and adult cats. In one of nature’s bits of generosity, cats become more resistant to hookworms as they grow older. This parasite has also been known to cause chronic intestinal bleeding, abdominal pain and diarrhea in small children and the symptoms aren’t any nicer for cats. De-worming medications usually include pyrantel pamoate and fenbendazole.
(Dipylidium caninum, T. taeniaeformis) are the other type of parasite that’s visible to the naked eye. If you think this is as gross as most people, you’ll want to protect your cat with effective flea prevention. The most common route of infection occurs when the cat swallows a flea that is carrying the parasite’s eggs. COCCIDA (Isopora felis) is not a worm, but a single-cell microscopic organism that will wreak havoc in a cat’s intestinal tract when present in great numbers.
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