How to Treat and Prevent Tapeworm in Cats
Tapeworm infestation in cats is a common problem. Tapeworms are actually intestinal worms that infect both cats and dogs. To be more specific, tapeworm infestations can infest cats as young as two weeks of age, while adult tapeworm infections can last up to three months.
So how does this organism get into cats? Tapeworm eggs are ingested by fleas during the flea bite, leading to the production of the parasite. The cat then consumes the tapeworm infested eggs, which then become lodged in the gastrointestinal tract. As an adult, the tapeworm makes an excretory canal that extends from the mouth to the anus. This is where the parasite develops and feeds on its host.
Tapeworm segments in cats have similar outward signs with humans. The adult tapeworm segments can be found in feces and look like rice grains or dandruff flakes. Adult tapeworm segments have a white head that is slightly sticky. If you observe any of these signs in your cat – appetite loss, vomiting, constipation, decreased urine output, or blood in the stool or urine, these are the results of ingestion by your cat of an infected tapeworm.
If tapeworm infestation in cats has been ruled out by a veterinarian, the next step would be to take your cat to the veterinarian. Tapeworm infestation is often associated with other diseases, so it is important for your cat to receive a proper diagnosis from a qualified veterinarian. It is also important for the cat’s diet to be strictly controlled by a veterinarian, as well as keeping fleas and other parasites away from the cat.
A number of tapeworm infestations in cats can be identified by means of stool samples. Cats infected with fleas are often observed with tapeworm eggs in their feces. In order to determine whether your cat has been infected with tapeworm or not, your veterinarian may take a fecal sample from your pet and do a laboratory analysis to identify the parasite involved.
Some cats get afflicted with fleas even after being treated with tapeworm treatments. There are some Flea medications available that contain ingredients such as dipylidium caninum. These medicines can sometimes provide rapid relief to your pet and prevent reinfection of tapeworm segments in cats. The veterinarian will usually ask for a blood sample from your pet to identify the parasite involved, then prescribe various medicines to treat the infection. These medicines will often have to be repeated periodically.