Parasitic worms in cats and dogs normally reside in the intestines. A particularly interesting aspect of these parasitic worms is that worm larvae and eggs can remain dormant for years in tissues and wait for an appropriate trigger to surface and infest your pet. In many cases, it is the stress factor that acts as a trigger for worms to migrate. Feline parasites like roundworms and hookworms can surface abruptly in advanced stages of pregnancy and transmit to the litter.
Kittens can get infected while in the womb of the female cat or through the milk of the infected mother. Adult cats can get infected by ingesting worm-infested feces. They can also fall prey to these parasites if they consume an animal that is infected. Larvae of roundworms can migrate to various parts of the body and can travel up to the eye and cause damage to vision. Vomiting, diarrhea, an extended abdomen, dehydration, weight loss and listlessness are other common symptoms that manifest themselves among cats infested with worms.
Cat and dog tapeworm are made up of segments. These segments are shed periodically and are ejected through feces. They stick to the area around the anus and can cause irritation since they are alive. Excessive licking of the anus is a behavior that can lead to further investigation and reveal tapeworm infestation in many cases. A severe infestation by tapeworms causes abdominal pain and an abnormal increase in appetite. An exceptionally severe infection manifests in symptoms like coughing, high temperature, pneumonia and heart and liver diseases.
Symptoms of worms in cats and dogs are not always conclusive. Sometimes there are no specific symptoms that surface. But in some cases, worms can lead to death due to the sheer numbers. Worms multiply in geometric progression in the intestines. A single female roundworm can lay up to a hundred thousand eggs in a day. If left untreated, the worms can block the intestinal passage and cause death.
Nearly all types of worms are passed through the feces into the environment. Unless the symptoms are very prominent, the only way that infestation can be diagnosed is by visibly detecting live worms or their eggs in the feces. Roundworms are long, round and slimy looking creatures. Live tapeworms can be seen moving and look like grains of dried brown rice when dry.
Since worms in cats can remain in the body without causing any symptoms, it is imperative that you get your cat’s feces checked regularly for larva or worm eggs. Outdoor cats need more frequent checking since they are more susceptible to the problem.
A cat infested with worms becomes more vulnerable to other diseases. Some type of worms can potentially infect humans, too. It is necessary to carry out a regular examination of your pet’s feces in order to avoid such eventualities.