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Worm infestation in cats: heartworms and hookworms


Cats can be infected by different types of worms, which attack the body of the velvet paw in very different ways. Heartworms, for example, affect important organs and hookworms are like little vampires that suck a cat out from the inside. But don't panic: once the parasites have been identified, they can be easily combated. Undetected, heartworms and hookworms can be dangerous for cats - Image: Shutterstock / Mr.Nikon

Heartworms live up to their name and are found in cats' blood vessels in the lungs and heart. When fully grown, the 20 to 30 cm long heartworms can lead to blocked vessels, blood congestion and pulmonary embolism. It is therefore important to recognize them at an early stage.

Symptoms of heartworm infestation include listlessness, weight loss, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. They mainly occur in southern and eastern Europe. In Germany you don't really have to be afraid of these parasites. In addition, they usually attack dogs more than cats.

Hookworms come through the skin

Hookworms are similarly rare in cats. But since they can also be transferred to humans, caution is advised with these contemporaries! The parasites usually enter a cat's body through the skin. They migrate into the intestinal mucosa, bite tightly there and feed on the blood of the house tiger. An adult worm can suck up to half a milliliter of blood a day.

The consequence of a heavy infestation is massive blood loss, which can lead to death. Signs are bloody or very dark feces. Where the larvae have penetrated the skin, inflammation and tissue damage can also occur.

Fight the uninvited guests effectively

Heartworms and hookworms must be controlled at the larval stage for the therapy to be successful. You can prevent new larvae from growing by regular deworming every three months. This way, you can quickly get the unwanted guests in your cat's body under control and at the same time prevent new infections. Be sure to discuss the treatment with your veterinarian beforehand.

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