Tapeworm in Cats
Parasites found in the small intestines of cats are referred to as tapeworms. These intestinal parasites are known as cestodes. The most common tapeworm found in cats is Dipylidium caninum. These worms are flat, segmented, and white in color. They can grow up to a length of 200 centimeters. The second most common parasite infecting cats is Taenia taeniaformis.
Dipilidium Caninum: This is the most commonly found tapeworm among cats. The cat flea acts as the intermediary for this tapeworm. Eggs are passed through feces which the flea larva eats. Once inside the flea larvae, the egg hatches and turns into a steroid. The flea larva grows into an adult flea and then goes about infecting your cat. Once inside the stomach, the flea breaks thereby releasing the tapeworm. With time it grows into an adult tapeworm. On attending maturity, the egg-filled segment breaks off and leaves the body through the anus. They are eaten by the larvae and thus the cycle begins again.
Taenia taeniaformis: The second most common tapeworm in cats, these are transmitted through the consumption of rodents containing the larval tapeworm.
Signs of cat tapeworm
The occurrence of rice-like segments around the cat’s anus is a sure sign of tapeworm.
A microscopic surgery can be performed on the cat’s feces to detect the presence of tapeworms in cats.
Tapeworms are usually harmless to cats and they take nutrients. The only sign that your cat is infected with a tapeworm is that he will lose weight and become malnourished. He will also have a rough appearance due to the loss of fur.
This condition affecting dogs can be treated with medication. The drug used for treating tapeworm is praziquantel which can be either injected or given orally. Consult a veterinarian before taking any such steps. Another available drug epsiprantel is also effective but cannot be used for cats less than seven weeks old.
The most important preventive measures include flea control and lice control. A wide range of products is available in the market for this purpose.
See more: Cat Flea Control