At Island Cats Veterinary Hospital, we believe in feline wellness care. Wellness care is really just a fancy phrase for annual checkups. During a wellness visit, the doctor will conduct a thorough physical exam, checking to make sure your cat’s body is functioning just as it should be.
Parasites and worms are a severe risk for your cat. Parasites and worms can cause various problems, from minor ailments to more severe issues such as death, depending on the species of the cat affected, its breed, and whether it has access to the outdoors. Hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, and tapeworms are the most common parasites and worms affecting cats.
The effects of worms are far-reaching since they can hide in your cat’s body for a long time before producing physical symptoms. If your cat is losing weight at an accelerated rate and has diarrhea that does not respond to dietary changes, has anemia, scratching of the anal opening, unusual vomiting, severe foul breath that can’t be relieved by regular brushing, or severe coughing, it’s essential that you get your cat to a veterinarian because they are most likely suffering from some parasitic infestation.
Why is a stool sample necessary? Some parasites can be seen readily in the feces, such as adult roundworm and tapeworm. However, if they are visible to the naked eye, your cat is probably ill with advanced symptoms. A stool sample allows us to examine stools for worms and separate pieces. On average, eggs, which are tiny in size, may also be discovered by taking a stool sample.
Dogs are more susceptible to whipworms than cats, although cats are not uncommon to be infected. Whipworms look like tiny bits of thread and tend to take up your cat’s intestine. Because whipworms lay so few eggs, many stools must be tested to determine whether they’re the source of the problem. Symptoms such as foul-smelling or mucus-encased feces or significant weight loss are usually signs that whipworm infestation is present. Fortunately, whipworms seldom result in fatalities.
Cats are especially susceptible to tapeworms because fleas transmit them. Cats who spend a lot of time outdoors, particularly in open areas with tall grass, are all at risk of being infested with fleas that can cause tapeworms. Tapeworms appear to be made up of many tiny pieces of tape fastened together. Although tapeworms can grow up to 5 inches long, the initially visible indicators of infection are usually little pieces connected to the cat’s fur near its anus. When agitated, these tapeworm pieces move. Tapeworm eggs are also found in the segments. Most over-the-counter treatments are ineffective against tapeworm infections, which are frequently aggressive. You must see a veterinarian as soon as feasible.
Prevention is the key to a long feline life. Make sure your cat visits the doctor on a regular basis. Most seemingly normal cats can go with yearly checkups, but outdoor cats should be examined at least twice a year. Dewormers that are designed with solid and active ingredients such as piperazine work by paralyzing parasites and worms, putting a halt to their gastrointestinal tract assault. Your veterinarian can prescribe stronger dewormers if necessary. It is advised that you do not allow your cat to stray in marshes and regions with tall grass to minimize the risk of fleas carrying parasites. These locations are breeding grounds for parasites, worms, and germs that can harm your cat.
Although most cat owners follow this advice, identifying symptoms is still essential. Consider converting your outdoor cats into indoor cats. Outdoor cats are subjected to the weather, predators, aggressive cats, and parasites. An outdoor cat has a significantly shorter life expectancy than an inside cat.
If you are dealing with a medical issue, please be sure to contact us right away.