Almost all cats, at some point in their lives, are afflicted by internal parasites. One such parasite, the tapeworm, can be particularly troublesome, and should be treated as soon as possible. It is also possible to take some steps to prevent tapeworm infection. This article is designed to inform readers about how to prevent tapeworm infection, as well as how to cure a tapeworm infection in a cat.
Call your veterinarian if you notice the symptoms of a tapeworm infestation. A tapeworm infestation is most frequently discovered when segments of the tapeworm are found in and on a cat's stool and in the hair around the cat's anal region. Tapeworm segments often look similar to large grains of rice or small segments of a pasta noodle. They are easily visible to the naked eye.
Collect a sample of the stool and bring it to your veterinarian, who can often identify tapeworm segments on sight, but may also choose to do a fecal examination to confirm infestation. It is likely that your veterinarian will require this, particularly if this is your cat's first infestation.
Cure the infestation by administering the medication that your veterinarian prescribes. Your veterinarian will likely prescribe a tapeworm dewormer, such as Droncit or Drontal, to eradicate the parasites. This medication usually consists of one dose immediately, and a second dose approximately two weeks later. After administering the medication, you may see the dead worms pass in the cat's stool. This is perfectly normal and nothing to become alarmed about.
Start your cat on some type of flea preventative to prevent further infestation, such as Frontline, Advantage or Revolution, and try to keep your pet from hunting and ingesting small animals, which can also cause infestation.
Consider obtaining a prescription from your veterinarian for the treatment medication, especially if your pet has repeated infestations. You will then be able to purchase the medication from online retailers, such as PetMeds, at a much lower cost and without having to pay for a veterinary visit.