Know the mechanism by which the tapeworm in cats it is useful to the cat we have with us, to us as cat owners and, again, to us as people because the cat can transmit this problem to us through its fleas. It would not be pleasant at all but there are both drugs and precautions very easy to explain and remember for prevention.
Tapeworm in cats: contagion for humans
First of all, let's get acquainted with the Tapeworm that we have already told you also in an ad hoc article. It is one of the many Cestodes that are found around but for us it is more useful to know that we meet it in the form of flat worms. In truth we do not meet the worms because they live in the intestine cat and feed on what he eats. There are two types of tapeworms in cats that we can most commonly find, the Crassicollis, which has an intermediate larval form in the liver of mice, and the Dipylidium, the intermediate larval form of which is in fleas.
Precisely the second is the most frequent in cats, especially in domestic ones for the simple fact that fleas they can reach them unlike mice. A country cat is subject to both varieties of tapeworms equally because it hunts mice and has to deal with them in everyday life. It is a simple fact of probability.
Let's go back to understanding how the tapeworm in cats to understand if and how it can reach us too. The adult worm that lives in the cat's intestine is flat and about sixty centimeters long and its life depends on the presence of fleas. Its body has a series of hooks placed at one end, corresponding to the head, which it uses to attach itself to the intestinal wall of our poor animal.
So this vermicello latches on and produces eggs that are wrapped in a kind of pouches called proglottids in veterinary jargon. Once full they leave the tapeworm and reach the outside of the body together with the feces. Here then comes the owner of the cat with tapeworm and can notice, if he is attentive, some clear grains that are deposited on the feces. They look like grains of rice that with time dry up and turn yellowish.
More than seeing the tapeworm we notice these dry eggs and from there we can guess that in the intestine of our poor cat there is still the vermicello hooked and that makes it suffer- Contagion to humans can occur because fleas come into play which, as larvae, can eat these eggs, The infected fleas on the one hand can be ingested by the cat itself while it cleans up, on the other hand they can also get close to us and infect us.
In order not to be infected by a possible tapeworm in cats we can only pay close attention to its fleas avoiding it. If we have a cat that loves to hunt mice and goes around a lot in the garden, we also look after mice but they are certainly a much less likely contagion hypothesis.
Tapeworm in cats: symptoms
To realize that the cat has fleas, we are very attentive to its attitudes and carefully observe its fur because fleas, unlike the tapeworm in cats, you can also see them with the naked eye. It is good to know that the cat is infested with fleas, it is very likely that it also has worms and that cats used to hunting in the wild, in the garden, are more likely to get infested.
One of the most obvious symptoms of tapeworms in cats is lack of appetite but there are also nausea, weakness, sudden weight loss and intestinal disturbances. A cat with a tapeworm does not want to hunt or play, it is not even as pestiferous as its nature would suggest it to show itself. However, the unquestionable or almost unquestionable symptom is and remains the presence of dry tapeworm eggs on the feces or around the anus of the animal.
Tapeworm in cats: drugs
As soon as we are afraid that the cat has contracted the tapeworm let's take him to the vet right away, preferably with a sample of proglottis taken from the animal's feces so that the doctor can understand what type of parasite it is. It does not change the treatment but it is very important to understand the variety of the tapeworm anyway. Then the vet will prescribe one of the many deworming products based on praziquantel.
The praziquantel is the only one active principle able to kill tapeworms and is contained by many pesticides that are put on the market and which can also be used to combat the presence of nematodes.
How does praziquantel work? This active ingredient is able to do paralyze parasites, in this way they are no longer able to remain attached to the walls of the intestine and are expelled together with the feces in place of the eggs that looked like grains of rice. Paralysis is an effect that is obtained because the drugs manage to make the skin of the worm permeable to sodium, potassium and calcium ions and the latter have the power to block the primitive nervous system of the parasite.
Between various products that contain praziquantel we find the Drontal in tablets and the injectable Droncit, the Milbemax in tablets and other medicines for external use such as Profender that are applied to the nape of the animal.
Having bought the drug on the advice of the veterinarian, it is very important to follow all that he has told us to do without interrupting the treatment by forgetting the doses or timing. There shouldn't be any problems or side effects these products usually are well tolerated by our poor cats, only 2% in fact show discomfort when taking them and usually very light, nothing alarming.
When a cat follows a tapeworm treatment it is not protected for life from its attacks and nothing prevents it from contracting it a second, a third or yet another time.
Tapeworm in cats: prevention
While there are treatments for the treatment of tapeworms in cats, it is always better to prevent it and it can be done with some tricks that are also quite trivial. We are on guard with fleas which are definitely vehicles of tapeworms and more. We always keep the cat clean, this will also prevent it from infecting us, and if it plays in the garden or outside we try to prevent it from chasing mice or birds and then eating them. It is not easy, because for him it is instinct, but for us it is a question of tapeworm or not.
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