If your cat is struggling with internal parasites which are causing health issues, the first step you should take is taking some time to learn about internal parasites and how they can affect your cats. This page is designed to give you an overview of some of the internal parasites that can infect your cat.
There are several types of internal parasites that cause problems in cats. These include nematodes or roundworms, of which Toxocara cati, Toxascaris leonina (intestinal roundworm) and Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm) are the main examples, and cestodes or tapeworms of which Dipylidium caninum, Taenia species and Echinococcus species are important examples. Ancylostoma species (hookworms) are also common internal parasites in many parts of the United States and Canada.
Intestinal worms can be a serious problem in young kittens. Hookworms can cause anemia and roundworms can lead to poor growth and development.
Intestinal parasites are only occasionally life-threatening in adult cats and are usually seen in debilitated animals or those that are immunosuppressed.
Heartworm disease is a major life-threatening problem in dogs and becoming more of a threat to cats. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. Fortunately, heartworm is not currently endemic in Alberta - this means only pets that travel are at risk.
This client information sheet is based on material written by: Ernest Ward, DVM
© Copyright 2009 Lifelearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.