Evan loves sitting in our glass screen door, basking in the sun shining in the bright blue sky. At least, that's what he loves to do when it's not pouring down rain, which seems to be the norm these days. Straighten up, Mother Nature. Evan and all the kitties demand more sun puddles.
Wishing you all a sunny, shiny Monday!
Doodle of the Day:
We have yet another fruity feline doodle to share today. Just because.
Tip of the Day:
Yesterday we discussed the topic of fleas and the importance of using preventatives. We briefly noted on how a flea infestation can lead to a kitty or pup being infected with tapeworms. Today, we are expanding on the topic of these nasty, wormy invaders.
To begin, as we just stated, a tapeworm infestation can be the result of a flea infestation. This is because fleas can carry tapeworm larvae, and when a cat or dog grooms and thereby ingests a carrier flea, that furbaby can then become infested with tapeworms. Fleas are not the only hosts of tapeworms, though. A cat or dog can also become infected by ingesting a rodent, rabbit, or bird that is carrying them. For this reason, some veterinarians will recommend that outdoor cats and dogs remain on tapeworm preventatives regularly, to prevent infestation in the event that a tapeworm host is ingested during a hunt.
Now that we know how a kitty or pup can end up with tapeworms, let's give a brief summary on the signs. One obvious sign that a furbaby has tapeworms is visually seeing it in their feces, or around their anus, or even in an area where they frequent. What you see in the feces of an infected cat or dog are actually segments that break off of a tapeworm, and these segments are perhaps best described as looking like grains of rice. Other symptoms of tapeworms include a cat or dog scooting their rear end on the floor, to alleviate the itching, irritating sensation of the tapeworm and its segments. In severe cases, such as after a lengthy tapeworm infestation, side effects can include lack of growth or weight loss, or even intestinal blockage as a result of tapeworms.
If you have any concerns that your furbaby might have tapeworms, take your furbaby and a sample of their stool in for your veterinarian to examine. There is the possibility that tapeworms may not shed consistently, and some stool samples may come back as negative even when tapeworms are present in the intestines. This is why it is also important to explain and describe to your veterinarian any signs you have seen, such as tapeworm segments in the feces, scooting, weight loss, and so forth.
These days, treatment for a tapeworm infestation is relatively straight-forward and easy, with the use of parasiticides. Thereafter, prevention is of course also key. Flea preventatives are imperative in ensuring that your furbaby does not become infected with tapeworms by way of fleas. If your cat or dog is often outdoors, and especially if they are known to hunt or ingest wildlife, you can also discuss with your veterinarian giving preventatives more heavily geared toward tapeworms. Tapeworms can hinder your furbaby's ability to thrive, so of course be sure that you understand their risks and do your best to prevent these wormy pests.