When Your Cat Has A Tapeworm: How An Animal Hospital Removes It

Posted on

When you adopt pets, you never know quite what you are going to get. That includes pets with additional "pets" in the form of various worms, biting insects like fleas and ticks, and skin conditions like scabies. If you adopted a cat and have recently discovered that it has a tapeworm, you should take the cat to your nearest animal hospital. This is how an animal hospital will treat your new kitty for tapeworms.

Diagnosing the Length of Tapeworm

Tapeworm is most often discovered when your kitty is sitting on your lap and cannot leave anal grooming alone. Trying to get him or her to settle down, you may find a white, wiggly rectangular something on your lap. This is a segment of tapeworm that has made its way out of your kitty's anus, broken off and dropped on you. Usually, during the grooming process the cat just re-ingests this tapeworm segment which may or may not have an egg sac inside it. It could become another tapeworm inside your cat.

Since tapeworms have been known to grow several yards in length, your vet will want a good idea of how bad the tapeworm problem is. That means some x-rays to get a picture of the tapeworm and see if the length of it (and any other tapeworms!) can be estimated. Your vet knows how long a cat's intestinal tract is, so seeing a tapeworm wound through most of the intestine will tell the vet how long the worm is.

Killing the Tapeworms

Worming medications given to cats and kittens when they come into the pound do not cover tapeworms. That is a different medication altogether, which is why your adopted kitty still has this type of parasite. The vet at the animal hospital can inject or prescribe a pill for your kitty to ingest that will kill the tapeworm(s). Then kitty will just release the dead worm(s) in his or her feces, so you will want to wear gloves to clean the litter box for the next several weeks.

Surgically Removing the Worm(s)

Surgery for tapeworm may be necessary if your kitty is heavily infested with them or if the worms are draining the life out of him/her. For this your kitty will need to stay overnight in the hospital, and then the vet technicians will help sedate kitty, put in an IV, and shave kitty's abdomen in preparation for surgery the next morning. The vet will then open the belly and intestines, cut the worms loose by cutting out the heads, and then sew everything back up again. You will be called when your kitty comes out of surgery and is fairly alert again.

For more information, contact local professionals like Columbine Animal Hospital & Emergency Clinic.