Round Worms                    wpeA.jpg (2544 bytes)

 

Types:

There are two species of roundworms affecting cats and kittens, Toxocara cati (only infects cats) and Toxascaris leonina. (Infects dogs and humans). Both are treated with the same medication protocol so when eggs are seen on a fecal flotation exam it is not necessary to determine which species is present

Effects:

Symptoms include: diarrhea, vomiting, pneumonia, obstructed intestines and a pot-bellied appearance. Roundworm infections can often lead to dehydration as a result of these symptoms.

Infection in humans: Visceral larval migrans and ocular larval migrans (in the eye!) are diseases caused by the migration of Toxocara larvae through the tissue of people, particularly children. Although these diseases are rare, they can be quite serious, especially when they occur in young children. Examples: milk spots on liver, hemorrhaging and damage within the lung, blindness in the eye, severe neurological problems in the brain.

Prevention:

Try to keep fecal matter cleaned up. Provide somewhere that cats can go to bathroom and be sure to regularly clean it. WF recommends, for larger colonies, using a childrens’ wading pool and filling it with sand or kitty litter. Remember, sand can often be a breeding ground for parasites, so cleanliness is of the utmost importance!

Treatment:

-Wormers don’t actually kill the worms, instead they dislodge them from the intestinal track so that the cat can pass them. It is absolutely necessary that the treatment be given according to the directions and on schedule, otherwise the parasites will mitigate and continue the infection. WF recommends Drontal, which treats several parasites. The tablets should be crushed and mixed with canned cat food. The care giver should be sure that each cat receiver only the recommended dosage.