Cats often carry internal parasites that pose a health risk to their owners and in particular to children under 4 years of age. Cats that recieve monthly Advocate are covered against roundworm (Toxocara) which is the parasite which has the greatest public health risk. Some commonly used parasite treatments however do not cover your cat against tapeworm (Dipylidium and Taenia). Some owners who assume their cat has complete parasite protection do not realise their cat could be harbouring a tapeworm. Cats typically pick up tapeworm infestations from eating mice but they can also pick them up from consuming fleas that may be in their coat during grooming.
Post Mortem – Tapeworm
We recently had post mortem results back from a cat who died suddenly. The cat died from a cardiac anomaly but incidently on post mortem exam the patholgist noted the cat had a large number of tapeworm in its intestines. The owner was shocked as she felt she had wormed the cat regularly and had not known the cat to be a hunter. She had not however used any drug that was active against tapeworm. Large burdens of tapeworm in a cats intestine can cause blockages which cat necessitate them having a surgery to remove them.
If you have a cat that roams outdoors and has not been wormed in the last 6 months our Kill Lane Hospital in conjunction with MSD Animal Health are offering a free parasite screen for the first 10 cats for whom we recieve a faecal sample. The sample should be submitted to our Kill Lane Hospital ideally within 24 hours and no longer than 48 hours after collection in a clean container or a plastic bag and be free of contaminants such as soil and litter.
Keep the sample in a cool space if you are not bringing immediately to the vet and wash your hands after the collection process. You will also be asked to fill out a short questionarie regarding your cats lifestyle. If you have any queries regarding worming your pet please do not hesitate to contact any of our clinic.