The tapeworm is a parasite that lives in the intestine and feeds on the
contents; it is extremely common and cats can pick it up very easily
from associating from other cats or from fleas which are known to ingest
the eggs. Tapeworms in cats is
common and it is easy to prevent and treat too, read on and find out
The tapeworm structure is a line of small oblong sections, or
compartments, which grow from the main neck. The neck has a series of
hooks around a 'crown' together with six sets of 'teeth', and these
fasten to the lining of the intestine. The tapeworm then grows section
by section, and each section contains a complete reproduction and
Please stay tuned for the next installment.....
As the tapeworm gets longer the older segments fall away from the main body and are excreted by the cat, and either are scattered around the surrounding furniture or bedding or deposited in the litter tray. They are then inadvertently ingested by the cat. However, more commonly it is the cat flea that will feed on these eggs. During grooming the cat will find and eat the flea which is then passed into the digestive system, the flea is then broken down by the digestive process and the flea egg is then in the intestine to start up a new life cycle. It's sensible to assume therefore that by eradicating flea infestations from your cat you are likely to prevent him becoming a host for the tapeworm.
It is generally thought that there is a period of three weeks between the initial ingestion of the tapeworm egg to the emergence of matured sections at the other end. There may well be more than one tapeworm in the cat, and because they are absorbing nutrients from the gut the cat will have problems absorbing enough nutrients for its own growth and condition.
The signs and symptoms of a feline tapeworm being present are firstly the presence of eggs around the bedding or furniture which look like small grains of white rice. Additionally you may find sections of the tapeworm in the litter tray or around the cat's anus, and because they have such a distinctive shape they are easy to recognize. Very occasionally a tapeworm's head will come loose and it will track back up thedigestive system into the stomach and then be vomited up.
You will also notice, if he has had the tapeworm for some time, that he is looking thinner or that he is eating much more than he usually does, simply because he is not getting the nutriment that he needs and it is being partially starved by the tapeworm.
Treatment involves persuading the tapeworm to let go of its grip on the lining of the intestine, and this can be achieved by administering anti-worming medication specific to tapeworm, or your vet can administer a injection. The tapeworm then dies and is digested normally. You will need to make sure that his bedding and all furniture is vacuumed and cleaned and all the tapeworm egg sacs removed so as to prevent reinfestation, and maintain a regular worming and flea control program.
4 Common tapeworm species in cats: Diphylidium caninum,
Taenia taeniaformis, Dibothriocephalus latus and Spirometra
mansanoides. Prevention is always better than cure, Droncit, Vercom
and Panacur are very effective
remedies, whereas Yomesan and Scolaban are least effective.