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Posted on 05-09-2014

Protecting our cats from parasites is just as important for them as it is for dogs. Unfortunately, not many cats are on preventatives and this puts them at risk, even if they are indoor cats.

Roundworms can be found indoors as well as outdoors. The eggs can be found in soil, including potting soil. Small mammals and insects like cockroaches and flies can carry roundworm eggs. A pet that goes outside or even the humans in your cat’s life can bring eggs into your home. Roundworms are zoonotic, meaning they can be transferred from animals to people. Signs of infection can be vomiting, diarrhea and/or an enlarged abdomen. However, many have no symptoms at all. The best way to determine if your cat has roundworms is to have a fecal sample tested.

Like roundworms, hookworms can be transmitted by small mammals such as mice and rats and found in the soil. They are zoonotic as well. Infections can cause weight loss, dehydration, diarrhea, and anemia. Heavy infections in kittens can sometimes be fatal.

Most of us know about heartworms in dogs and how we prevent them, but did you know that cats can get them too? Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. Therefore, any cat can be exposed. Cats are not natural hosts to heartworms but they can be affected by them.  Unlike in dogs, the heartworms usually die before they mature into adults. Those dead or dying worms, because they are so small, are carried to the lungs. Most cats with heartworms show no sign of infection. However, when they do they usually present with respiratory signs such as coughing and can often be described as asthma like symptoms.

Luckily, all of these parasites can be prevented. Revolution is a topical medication that will protect your cat from fleas, ticks, heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms. If you have questions regarding parasites or Revolution please call us at Eagle Animal Hospital (610) 458-8789. We serve Chester Springs, Downingtown, Exton, Glenmoore and the surrounding area.

Written by Harriet Band, receptionist

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