Loving and playful! Everything is tenderness, games, caresses and hugs that fill us with joy. How can we think that our kitten can be harboring little enemies in its body?
The risk is real, we are talking about the parasite of the family of nematodes (Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati) most common in cats, and even in other felines. It can infest more than 25% of the adult cat population, and achieve higher rates in puppies for which it can cause serious health problems.
There are different routes of infection that can even reach children (toxocariosis) and cause significant damage. An adequate preventive prophylaxis will be the best way to help our beloved pet and ourselves.
Who is roundworm and how does it infect my cat?
Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati have the typical shape of the roundworm, whitish in color, with an elongated body – which can reach 7 to 11 cm in length – and cervical wings that resemble an arrowhead. It has a straightforward, but remarkably complex life cycle.
The larvae begin their development within the eggs expelled in the feces of an infested cat. Very resistant eggs that can withstand high and low temperatures and maintain their ability to infect for 5 years. That is why monthly deworming is important for complete protection every day of the year. These larvae can be accidentally ingested by other pets, small rodents, worms or beetles, which will act as hosts. After being ingested by our cat, either directly or by ingestion of a small host, the Toxocara cati larvae will cross the intestinal wall and migrate through its body and organs until they return, after 25 or 30 days, as an adult, to their small intestine and there they will begin the intensive production of eggs . Once installed there, they compete for the nutrients of our little feline.
During migration within the cat, the larvae can reach the female mammary glands and infest the young through the milk. Unlike dogs, cats do not have intrauterine infection through the placenta.
How can I suspect that the disease is present?
The amount of worms present in the infestation will be decisive in showing signs of the disease. The signs will be much more striking in the young than in the adults.
The most notable and common symptoms of this disease are:
- Vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating
- Lack of appetite, weight loss, malnutrition and physical weakness
- Respiratory signs such as cough and pneumonia
- Disheveled or spiky hair
- Apathy and low mood
- In the young of a few weeks, in addition:
- Growth and development disruption
- Bowel obstruction and a swollen belly, including bowel perforation
What is the best prevention?
To prevent roundworm parasitoids, and other frequent parasites in our environment, it is very convenient to take hygienic precautions and prevent pets from ingesting strange animals or uncontrolled lands that could be contaminated. We explain the most common places where parasites hide and why we recommend a monthly deworming.
It is very important to maintain a proper hygienic habit, regularly disinfecting the spaces where the cats are and removing the excrement daily. This is especially recommended in homes where there are children who play with cats and who could easily become infected with eggs or larvae. It is important to protect the health of our cat and that of the rest of our family.
In addition, it is convenient to act on the animal by going to our trusted veterinarian to ask him to make us an adequate preventive plan that includes the Double Monthly Protection against internal and external parasites. If you go now with the coupon, you will get a gift just for being informed.