Hookworms in cats: Hookworms are the parasites that live in other living things. Hookworms effects lungs, skin, and small intestine. Human contract hookworms through larvae found in dirt contaminated by feces. According to recent research, about 576 to 740 million people worldwide are affected due to hookworms. It mainly affects people of developing countries due to poor sanitation systems.
These infections rarely occur in the US and other European countries. Hookworms can also infect cats. Sounds strange? but it is true. Here, in this article, we are going to discuss how to figure out if your cute kitties are infected because of hookworms. So if you are interested to know how to get rid of them, then read the article till the end.
What Will I Learn?
Hookworms In Cats
Intestinal parasites of the cats are known as hookworms. These parasites are named hookworms because of their mouthpart that looks like a hook.
Hookworms use this mouthpart as an anchor to get stuck to the wall of the intestines. Their length is around 2 to 3 mm. But their diameter is so small that you can hardly see them by naked eyes.
The most common hookworms found in cats are:
- Ancylostoma Tubaeforme
- Ancylostoma Braziliense
Sometimes, a dog’s hookworms can also infect your cats.
Causes Of Hookworms
Hookworms are more common in a warm and moist environment. Poor sanitation is the major cause of hookworms in cats. Besides, the hookworms in cats spread through:
- The milk of mother soon after the birth of a kitten.
- A contaminated environment
- Kittens may ingest hookworm larvae by grooming their paws, directly eating dirt, stools or grass.
- Hookworm larvae can burrow into the skin some areas of the body come in contact with contaminated soil.
Let’s discuss then in detail
How Does A Cat Get Hookworms?
Female hookworms pass hundreds of microscopic eggs in cats stool. These eggs are not visible to human eyes. Larvae or immature hookworms will hatch from the eggs and stay alive in the soil for like months or weeks. When a cat swallows these larvae unknowingly, often by grooming its feet, a hookworm infection will become established.
Most of the larvae, which your cat may have ingested, will move to the intestinal to complete there life cycle. Whereas, few larvae make their way to the trachea(windpipe), which your pet cough up and swallows. The larvae may also burrow through the cat’s skin and then they migrate to the lungs and trachea.
The cat will then swallow the larvae which then move to the intestinal tract. This is the place where they may mature and complete their life cycle. It normally takes 2-3 weeks for ineffective female larvae to get mature and produce eggs.
How To Diagnose Hookworms?
A technical method, Fecal Flotation, can diagnose the hookworm infection in your cats.
A small amount of a cat’s stool is mixed into a special solution, causing the hookworm eggs to float to the top.
Will My Cat Recover?
This is the main and most important question. That must be moving all the time in your mind while reading this article and that question is “will my cat recover?” The answer is YES. With appropriate diagnosis and treatment, it is possible.
Firstly, let us talk about the symptoms of hookworms in cats.
Symptoms Of Hookworms In Cats
Early symptoms are lesions on the bottom of the feet and between toes, where the hookworms have entered the skin. If hookworms larvae entered the lungs, then your cat can have coughing.
Other symptoms are dark stool, diarrhea or constipation. A cat suffering from hookworm will have a poor appetite and bad health. The linings of its eye, lips, nostrils, and ear will be pale. It can be fatal and can cause death also if not treated properly on time.
Treatment Of Hookworms In Cats
To get rid of these nasty worms veterinarian will give a medication to your cat to kill the germs and to expel them out of your pet’s body. Besides, he may suggest some nutritional and iron supplements for your kitten to fulfill the deficiencies. Treatment can be started after the two to three weeks of birth and treated monthly afterward.
If your cat is pregnant then the way of treating her will definitely be different. Treatment will begin after two weeks after breeding and continue after giving birth unless the newly born is two to four weeks.
The environment where you keep your cat, where your cat sleeps or where your cat stays all day long should be clean, in fact very very clean. Pay special attention to the water container. Look if your pet is eating food properly and pooping it out properly. The containers in which you are feeding your cat should be clean.
If you find any of the above-mentioned symptoms in your cat then do not waste time, take a fecal sample of your cat and take it to your veterinarian. So that the problem can be cured on time.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article about hookworms in cats and it must have solved many questions jumping in your mind. If you have any queries or want to share your opinion then write it down in the comments section. We are anxiously waiting to hear from you!
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