While worms in cats are mostly invisible, they can cause havoc to your cat and therefore it’s extremely essential to keep your cat free from worms. Here is some useful information.
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How to Identify that Your Cat has Worms?
If your cat drags his butt along the ground, he may probably have worms. Worms commonly cause scooting. However, other more dangerous worms can exist too that can give rise to much more serious symptoms.
Types of Worms in Cats
Following are the types of worms that can cause health problems in cats.
Tapeworm: Tapeworms are spread by fleas and make your cat’s butt itchy. Also small wriggly segments, similar to white rice grains, are seen around his bottom or on faeces. Thankfully, these worms don’t result into serious symptoms, neither do they make you sick.
Hookworms: These live in your cat’s intestine and suck blood causing anaemia, bloody diarrhoea and even death. Larvae of these worms can affect humans too and keep buried under the skin, leading to red itchy rashes.
Roundworm: Roundworm affects kittens very seriously. When affected, the kittens often get a typical pot-bellied appearance. Their appetite is suppressed and they often suffer from diarrhoea and vomiting. A lot of worms make a ball and become an intestinal obstruction. This may even be fatal.
Roundworm can affect humans too. The larvae of the worm can travel through brain, eyes and liver and can cause severe damage to these organs. Children are at greater risk because they often don’t take precaution to wash hands after cuddling their cat.
Heartworm: Not many people know that heartworms occur in cats, though not as commonly as in dogs. They are also much more difficult to diagnose. In some cats, symptoms are completely absent, while in others, the worms bring about inflammation of lining of blood vessels in lungs, causing difficulty in breathing, coughing and even sudden death. Mosquitoes spread heartworms. These worms don’t affect humans.
Prevention of Worms in Cats
Experienced Ku Ring Gai vet staff from Gordon Vet can suggest you solutions to prevent worms in your cat. These worms in cats can be treated with many types of tablets. But cats don’t swallow tablets easily. And during worming time, their claws and teeth become great deterrents. There are some pastes too which are easy to administer and do the same job.
If you want to use tablets for worming, they should be given every 3 months. More frequent dosing is needed in kittens, like every 2 weeks till the age of 12 weeks, and then monthly till the age of 6 months.
Medications in the form of tasty treats too are available which cats chew without any refusal.
There are also some liquids that are to be applied to the skin once a month on the back of your cat’s neck. They control intestinal worms, heartworms and fleas. They don’t kill tapeworms but since tapeworms are spread by fleas and this product kills fleas, tapeworms too are controlled.
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If your cat starts showing symptoms of worms, you can start the treatment right away with the above-mentioned products. Simultaneously, symptoms like diarrhoea should also be treated for which you have to approach professional Killara vet clinic, for example.
Caution with Heartworms
It may seem strange but killing your cat’s heartworms is not always a good idea. The dead worm can lead to even more serious inflammation that can make the cat severely ill. If symptoms of heartworm infection are seen, a better idea is to treat him with an anti-inflammatory medication to lessen the reaction in his lungs and let the worms die due to natural causes. This process can take 2-3 years.
With plenty of options to choose from, it’s quite easy to find a solution for worms. Use it to keep worms away from your cat.