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2 Most Common Tapeworms In Cats

2 Most Common Tapeworms In Cats

2 Most Common Tapeworms In CatsTapeworm infections are fairly common in cats, fortunately, though, most species of tapeworms are pretty easy to get rid of and don’t cause much trouble to our feline friends. However, even so, it’s best to be well-informed regarding matters like these. If you already know what you’re dealing with, then you can easily prevent your pet from becoming infected in the first place and spare yourself the time and cost of treatment.

 

Dipylidium Caninum

What is it, and what does it do?

2 Most Common Tapeworms In CatsDipylidium caninum is a tapeworm that can infect both cats and dogs. They live in the small intestine and attach themselves to the intestinal wall using the suckers found on the upper part of their head, which help them adhere to particular surfaces. After that, their tail continues to grow (sometimes up to 20 inches!) as they feed on the nutrients from the food that passes through.

 

How does it spread from one cat to another?

Cats can contract Dipylidium caninum by ingesting infected fleas. Adult tapeworms release their eggs, and fleas consume it. Then, when cats groom themselves and accidentally swallow an infected flea, the egg is released inside the body, and the cycle continues.

 

How do I know if my cat is infected?

It’s difficult to know for sure whether or not a cat has tapeworms since most of the time, tapeworm infections are asymptomatic. Dipylidium caninum, in particular, doesn’t cause any problems with cats. However, in cases where tapeworms are present in large numbers, they can cause weight loss, diarrhea, gastrointestinal obstruction, constipation, and even epilepsy or seizures.

 

Can I become infected?

Dipylidium caninum can infect humans, but it’s not likely. Humans can only contract the tapeworm if they ingest an infected flea.

 

How do I get rid of it?

There are plenty of medications that can easily kill and eliminate tapeworms. They’re called anthelmintics. Some can be taken orally in the form of tablets, while others can be administered topically or through injections. The most common anthelmintic medication prescribed to cats infected with Dipylidium caninum is Praziquantel.

 

How do I prevent my cat from getting infected?

2 Most Common Tapeworms In CatsSince Dipylidium caninum spreads through the ingestion of infected fleas, the best way to prevent your cat from getting infected is by preventing flea infestation. You can do that by investing in monthly flea preventative treatments and keeping your home environment clean.

You may want to check out these flea preventative medications:

 

Taenia Taeniaeformis

What is it, and what does it do?

Like Dipylidium caninum, Taenia taeniaeformis also targets the small intestines and feeds on the nutrients from passing food. Generally, it doesn’t cause any inconvenience to infected cats and is considered to be pretty harmless.

 

How does it spread?

2 Most Common Tapeworms In CatsInfected cats spread tapeworm eggs in the environment every time they poop. The infective eggs get eaten by rodents and slowly mature in the liver. Then, when unsuspecting cats eat the infected rodents, the tapeworms make their way from the stomach into the small intestines where they grow into adult tapeworms and produce a new generation of worm eggs.

 

How do I know if my cat is infected?

Cats infected with Taenia taeniaeformis typically show no signs of infection, but in severe cases, they may experience intestinal problems, vomiting, changes in appetite, weakness, weight loss, dull coat, diarrhea, and itching in the anal area.

 

Can I become infected?

Although rare, humans may become infected with Taenia taeniaeformis. People can contract the tapeworm if they unknowingly ingest tapeworm eggs from cat feces.

 

How do I get rid of it?

The anthelmintic medications used to eradicate Taenia taeniaeformis are Praziquantel and Niclosamide. However, Praziquantel is considered to be the drug of choice since it’s known to be highly effective in killing almost all types of adult tapeworms in cats.

 

How do I prevent my cat from getting infected?

You can prevent your cat from getting infected by keeping them indoors and making sure that they don’t hunt or eat rodents. If you allow your cat to roam outdoors, then you can talk to your veterinarian about giving your cat regular preventative medications for tapeworms.

 

Has your cat ever had a tapeworm infection? How did you deal with it?

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