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by petar

cat with fleas When your cat has parasites this is not reflection of your own hygiene habits. You can maintain a very clean home, wash and groom your pet regularly, treat it for fleas and ticks, and there is still a chance that your cat can has some type of parasite. The parasites that your cat can get are externals and internals. The external cat parasites are most commonly fleas and ticks. However, your cat can get and other external parasites like ear mites and lice. The internal cat parasites are primarily in the form of a worm. And unfortunately for cats, these worms come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as bring a number of different health issues too.

Fortunately, most cat parasites are not life-threatening and may need only a veterinary visit to treat the problem. It’s not so hard to identify and understand a variety of feline parasites and their warning signs. However, please note that this information is not intended to replace your cat's annual visit to the veterinarian or to substitute for veterinary care.

To understand the possible forms of parasites that might inhabit your cat's body, let's get a little more in-depth about the most common parasites that were previously listed above:

Fleas Fleas are tiny insects that feed on blood and create mild to severe discomfort. And because adult fleas can reproduce thousands upon thousands of young, this makes a flea infestation hard to control. They bite cats to obtain a meal of blood and the saliva the flea produces and injects into the cat can cause severe skin allergies. When the cats scratch, this action irritates and sometimes breaks the skin causing scabs.
Symptoms that your cat has fleas include itching, dark, comma-shaped flecks in your cat's fur or skin, or near sleep and play areas.
Thorough cleaning of your cat and his total living environment - sleeping area, bedding, carpets, cushions, furniture and other pets to remove any eggs is required. Be sure to use only recommended pet-safe cleaning products.

Ticks These blood suckers are also a widely know external parasite. They feed with blood and need it in order to lays eggs so that even more ticks can hatch. Ticks are mostly commonly found in heavily wooded areas as well as fields of grass. They will latch onto the tops of blades of grass or weeds, just waiting for the next available warm body to latch onto. Ticks carry several diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Rocky Mountain spotted fever produces vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and fever; Lyme disease causes arthritis and fever.
To remove a tick, grasp it near the cat's skin with tweezers. Apply gentle traction to remove the entire head and mouth parts. Do not twist. Be careful not to puncture or crush the body to avoid infecting yourself. In addition, check your cat's environment and treat accordingly.

Ear mites Ear mites are small parasites that feed on the fluid in a cat's ear tissue. This critter is common and easily treated. Symptoms that your cat has an ear mite problem include head shaking, ear scratching and dark grainy discharge from the ears.

Lice Lice are small wingless insects with strong claws not generally found on healthy animals. They can cause anemia, self-injury (as your cat attempts to relieve the pain), temperament changes and appetite loss. The poor cats scratch a lot and they tend to lose some fur or have a dull coat. Luckily, lice are easily treated with dips, sprays, or topical shampoos. Consult your veterinarian and always be sure to read and follow label directions.

Worms These internal parasites come in a variety of shapes, sizes and names. The most common internal parasites are the roundworm and tapeworm. These can be seen in the cat's feces without the aid of a microscope if the animal is indeed infected. Roundworms can be transmitted via a mother's milk or while still inside the mother's womb. These worms look like spaghetti noodles. The tapeworm can be transmitted via flea larvae, especially if ingested. This worm looks flat and segmented. When veterinarians test your cat's fecal matter, the tapeworm is the least likely to be detected.
Other worms that can inhabit your cat's body include the hookworm and the whipworm. The hookworm is small and skinny with a hook-like end that can easily latch onto the lining of the intestine. It loves blood and will latch on for a filling meal. Signs of poor appetite, weight loss and anemia are often indicators of the hookworm. The whipworm gets its name from its shape and their eggs are usually ingested by contaminated food or water or when your cat nibbles on another animal's droppings.

It is important that your cat's feces be tested for worms by your veterinarian at each check-up. And if your fcat is exhibiting any abnormal behavior, chances are, an infestation of worms could be the culprit. Knowing exactly which parasitic worm is the problem will also help greatly in the treatment and deworming process because not every worm medication will treat every parasitic worm. Consult your veterinarian. The best way to prevent parasite invaders is to take precautions. Wash frequently and note any unusual behaviors in your cat. Treat them regularly for fleas and ticks. Make deworming a part of your normal routine in maintaining your cat's health.

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10.08.2008 18:30:24

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