The whipworm infection in cats isn’t as common as in dogs, yet in Europe and America, it is a feline condition, which may affect cats. The whipworms in cats are capable of living in an environment anywhere from a several months to a several years, and their eggs may be present in foods, soil, as well as in water, animal flesh, and feces. Felines are usually infected with these via the ingestion of the infested matter, yet may also be contracted from some other animals. In addition, these may infect cats of any age. Give this article a read and get to learn more about this feline condition.
What are Whipworms in Cats?
Due to the fact that the whipworms in cats are burrowing themselves in the mucosa of the cat’s intestine, the immune system reacts and tends to inflame the bowel. This may cause the cat to lose a huge part of nutrient-absorbing capacities. When the intestines get compromised, just a portion of the food the cat is consuming might be absorbed by the cat’s body. Further, the cat may also start to lose its weight and become so lethargic.
Moreover, the whipworm is a 45 to 47 millimeter long parasite that has a thick posterior and a thin filamentous end, which resembles a whip. Further, ergo is the common name of the whipworm. Even though these worms or parasites are often referred to as whipworms by the mainstream, there is actually more than one species of the whipworm and must be defined by the term Trichuris trichiura –the whipworms in cats.
In addition, the whipworm is a kind of parasite, which means the worm should have a host, in order to survive into its adult form. The eggs of the whipworm are existent in the environment and may keep on being unhatched, up until they are already ingested. Additionally, a cat that drinks water, consumes food, licks the soil off their paws may infect themselves with the whipworm eggs. The whipworm eggs land in the small intestines where they tend to hatch into larvae and make their own way to the large intestines. Inside of the large intestine, the whipworm larvae hideaway their frontal end in the colon’s mucosa. From there, the worm will then feed and mature into an adult whipworm.
Causes of Cat Whipworms
The whipworm in cats is due to the ingestion of food, flesh, or water, which is contaminated with whipworm larva, eggs, or adult whipworms.
In order to understand how cats might get infected with the whipworms, an owner should understand the lifecycle, as well as the nature of the parasites. The whipworm may latch into the mucosa layer of the colon or cecum of the cat, laying its eggs and eating. These weather-resistant, thick-shelled, are being passed on through the feces, goes into the soil and become active in infesting within a week or two. If a cat drinks water from an outside source or licks its paws after going outside, it might pick up at least one of the 2000 eggs a female whipworm can lay in a single day. Additionally, a cat may also infect itself with whipworms upon the consumption of the prey animals like birds, rodents, and some other prey.
Symptoms of Cat Whipworms
A minor whipworm infestation in cats may show no evident symptoms, yet as the worms multiply, the burden of the parasites start to take the toll on the cat’s body, thus causing the symptoms below:
- Inflammatory bowel syndrome
- Weight loss
In austere instances, the whipworm infestation may cause a hemorrhagic effect in the colon, thus causing the existence of the fresh blood to appear on the feces. An austere whipworm infection in cats might be recognized through the symptoms below:
- Bright, red blood in the stool
Prognosis of Cat Whipworms
The vet may confirm the prognosis of whipworms in cats by doing a fecal flotation process on a particular stool sample. If the parasitic whipworms or eggs are existent, they’ll float on the glass slide ‘s surface. Moreover, the whipworm infection may also need to be distinguished from some other infestations of parasitic worm, this includes worms and lungworms acquired from eating rodents.
Treatments for Cat Whipworms
The infestation of whipworms in cats is commonly treated on a patient basis, as the medication for the whipworms is commonly easy to administer. Furthermore, the vet might also prescribe any of the anti-parasitic agents below, in order to get rid of the whipworms in cats:
- Pyrantel / Praziquantel / Mebendazole pamoate
Moreover, dehydrated or anemic cats might also receive some intravenous care, in order to reverse the effects of the infestation of whipworms. The anti-inflammatory medications are also prescribed commonly in alleviating the exasperated interior of the small and large intestines of the cat.