tapeworm in cats

When the infected adult flea jumps onto your cat, it can then be consumed during your kitty’s grooming. The tapeworms attach firmly to the lining of the bowel wall, so it is unusual to see an adult worm unless the cat has had a worming treatment. Both types of tapeworms hook onto a cat's small intestines, where they mature in two to three w… Dipylidium caninum tapeworms are transmitted by flea larvae that have consumed tapeworm eggs. Once released into the environment, they become ingested by flea larvae, and the cycle starts all over again. Cats can get tapeworms in several ways. Since cats are fastidious groomers, you may not see the fleas that they are ingesting or know that they are contracting tapeworms until there is an infestation. Kittens may not thrive and, in extreme cases, can develop intestinal obstructions from adult tapeworms. Fresh or dry segments can occasionally be seen stuck to the fur around the anus or moving on the surface of fresh feces. The flea tapeworm Dipylidium must inhabit a flea to become infective. The tapeworm eggs then hatch once they have been digested in the cat’s intestines. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound cure.” That certainly holds true when it comes to tapeworm infections. As the name suggests, tapeworms are long flat worms. Tapeworms in cats are intestinal parasites that have the potential to make kitties sick. What makes it so difficult to diagnose tapeworms in cats is that kitties are very fastidious groomers. Effective flea control must also be used simultaneously to clear and prevent reinfection with Dipylidium worms. Featured Image: iStock.com/DebraLee Wiseberg, Tapeworms in Cats: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention. The fleas actually ingest the tapeworm eggs before jumping on a cat, and then the cat eats the flea and becomes infected. Understand what tapeworms are. These eggs then hatch inside the flea larvae’s body and hide there through the larvae’s development into a blood-sucking adult flea. And fecal flotations performed by your veterinarian can also come up short when trying to detect tapeworm infection due to the intermittent shedding of the egg-containing segments. The way tapeworm infections occur in humans, though, depends on the species. You don’t usually see an expulsion of the tapeworms into the feces unless it is an unusually high worm load. The two most common types of tapeworms infecting cats are dipylidium caninum and taneia taeniaformis. Not all flea control products are created equal and there is no deworming product that kills every type of intestinal parasite. The most common way is through fleas. Cats who have heavy flea infestations are more likely to end up with large amounts of tapeworms in their intestines, and there is potential for these patients to experience the following signs of tapeworms in cats: You may also spot the tapeworm egg segments in your cat’s litterbox or near their anus. There are three types of tapeworms that can infect felines: All three typically use other animals, called an intermediate host, to enter the cat. How Do Tapeworms Affect My Cat? Tapeworm segments migrating to the anal area may also cause excessive anal itching which can lead to butt scooting or constant licking of the anal area. Once swallowed, the flea is digested, and the tapeworm larvae is released unharmed where it can then attach to the intestines. These segments contain up to 20 microscopic eggs and exit the cat’s body through their feces. However, if infestation does occur, the environment must be treated along with the cat to prevent recurring infestations. If your cat digests an infected flea while grooming herself, that flea can transmit a tiny tapeworm into your cat and grow into a full-sized adult worm. Other hosts that a cat is likely to ingest include rabbits, birds, and rodents. Other hosts that a cat is likely to ingest include rabbits, birds, and rodents. How would you know if your cat is suffering? Eventually, adult tapeworms reach lengths of up to 11” (30 cm). Several types of tapeworms are known to infect pets, but the most common species observed in cats is Dipylidium caninum. Humans can also be infected with Taenia or Echinococcus tapeworm species if they consume an affected intermediate host, such as a rodent, rabbit or livestock that is contaminated with tapeworm larvae. And cats of any age might resort to licking their anal areas excessively, or scooting their anus on the ground due to discomfort or itching. Your veterinarian can help you choose the best treatment and prevention plan for your kitty’s lifestyle. Cats may bite or lick their anus, or drag their hindquarters across the floor. As seen in the illustration above, the cycle of infection starts when segmented tapeworm egg packets, called proglottids, are consumed by flea larvae (pre-adult fleas) either outside or by existing fleas in the home. There are two main types of tapeworm in cats with two main types of intermediate hosts. But what are the signs of tapeworms in cats? An infection with the most common species of tapeworms in cats is not transmissible to humans, and when treated promptly, the prognosis is good. Copyright © 2020 Chewy, Inc. What happens if tapeworms go untreated in cats? They can reach up to 60cm in length, and are a creamy-white color with flat segments along their length. More often than not, an infected cat will not exhibit any notable … Let’s get to it! After treatment, the tapeworms will normally dissolve in the cat’s intestines. Most cats do not show signs of illness from tapeworm infections. A: If tapeworm infections go untreated, then there is the potential for cats to begin to exhibiting the typical tapeworm symptoms in cats: vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss or poor appetite. Tapeworms are the flattened worms that live in the intestines of people and animals, including cats. Any parasite, whether internal (like intestinal tapeworms) or external (such as fleas, ticks, lice and mites), has the potential to negatively impact your cat’s health. Pale yellow and mobile, the Dipylidium proglottids come out with the cat’s feces, but the segments can also migrate from your cat’s anus without the presence of stool. For example, tapeworm eggs are frequently ingested through adult fleas. Tiny flea larvae can be infected with tapeworms. Their intestinal tracts that can lead to an infestation of tapeworms in cats is Dipylidium the! Keep them away from dead animals and garbage may also lead to tapeworm in cats infestation tapeworms... 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