Tapeworms

Effects: depression, irritability, an unpredictable appetite, poor coat condition, colic and mild diarrhea. A heavy infestation may cause anemia or weight loss.

 

Types of Tapeworms:

Taenia taeniaeformis is the most common tapeworm found in cats

- 60 cm long

- lives in small intestine

-The posterior segments of the tapeworm produce eggs that accumulate until the segment becomes packed full. These segments detach from the end of the tapeworm and pass in the feces.

-The detached segments are capable of movement and may crawl out of the anus onto the perianal skin.

- The eggs contaminate the food of rats, mice and rabbits.

-The egg must develop further in one of these animals to complete the life cycle of the tapeworm.

- The egg hatches in the intestine of the rodent

- When infected rodents are eaten by cats, the tapeworm larvae is released and develops into an adult tapeworm in the intestine of the cat

- Unless you eat cats and mice, you probably won’t get this type of tapeworm.

-Broad tapeworm or Diphyllobothrium

-found in fish

-Eggs of the broad tapeworm must develop in water for several weeks before becoming infective.

-Cucumber/Dog Tapeworm

- can also be found in cats

 

Detection:

Look for large, white proglattids in feces. They resembe grains of rice and may move. The abscence of these proglottids does not mean the colony is not infected, sometimes only the eggs pass and these require a microscope. If you do find proglattids, put them in alcohol and bring them to your vetrinarian for identification.


Treatment:

Several Wormers come as tablets, can be crushed and put in canned catfood. Will require monitoring. As cats appear to be fed, bring separate bowls for each cat. Each bowl should have one treatment in it.