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Worms...what do I do? Please read!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Carl sat on my arm a minute ago, and when he got up, I noticed a small white worm on my arm! I haven't seen anything in his stool, nor have I ever noticed any signs of worms, although he has been sick for two weeks now with what we thought was a respitory infection. He is on antibiotics.

It is Sunday after 5pm. The vet doesn't open till 7:30am tomorrow. Should I call an emergency clinic or should I wait till tomorrow.

In the past, when my dogs had worms, it wasn't a big deal once they got meds for it. Should I be worried??? Should I not let him in the bedroom with us tonight? Can we catch worms from him?
post #2 of 15
Its not a emergency. Its probably a tape worm segment you just saw. you can not catch them. Call your vet tommorow he will probably ask for you to bring in a stool sample so he can test to be sure what type of worms your cat has.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
OK, no I can stop worrying like crazy, thank you!

I will try to watch for him to pass another one and put it in a baggy or something in case the vet wants to see it, as well as get a stool sample.

We just got Carl from the rescue about 3 weeks ago, and he has been snotting and sneezing since we got him. Could the worms be responsible for the antibiotics not working?
post #4 of 15
I don't think that its related but depending on how bad the worm infestation is -it can make a difference in the vitality of your cat. I would see what the vet has to say. There are so many difference types of worms-the vet will be able to tell what kind he has.
If you have more than one cat however and there are shared litterboxes all may have to be treated.
post #5 of 15
Depending on the cat's age, you might have to get him/her an injection to take care of it. Tape worms aren't contagious. They are transmitted through actual ingestion (eating) of fleas and another cat can't get them from contact with feces from the infected cat (sharing the catbox).

If the cat is old enough, they'll just give your cat something oral to take care of it. No biggie. Worms just live off of the nutrients passed through the intestine.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunchbox View Post
Depending on the cat's age, you might have to get him/her an injection to take care of it. Tape worms aren't contagious. They are transmitted through actual ingestion (eating) of fleas and another cat can't get them from contact with feces from the infected cat (sharing the catbox).

If the cat is old enough, they'll just give your cat something oral to take care of it. No biggie. Worms just live off of the nutrients passed through the intestine.
Lunchbox, I'm not sure this is correct. My old grey cells desert me sometimes, but I believe tapeworms can be contagious through the feces. Someone with more knowledge will correct me if I'm wrong hopefully.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well we have an apointment with the vet today at 5, so we will see what he says.

Thanks TCS for letting me not worry and get a good night's sleep!
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Lunchbox, I'm not sure this is correct. My old grey cells desert me sometimes, but I believe tapeworms can be contagious through the feces. Someone with more knowledge will correct me if I'm wrong hopefully.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tapeworm Page
WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?

There is no other way for a pet to get tapeworms except from fleas.

Many people who had thought their pet could not possibly have fleas find out about the infestation this way. The tapeworm segment breaks open releasing its eggs. A larval flea consumes the egg along with the flea dirt that it normally eats. As the larval flea matures, so does the baby tapeworm. When a grooming dog or cat licks the flea and swallows it, the dead flea is digested in the dog’s stomach releasing the baby tapeworm. The tapeworm is passed to its new home in the dog or cat’s small intestine where it attaches and lives its life.

This parasite does not harm the pet in any way as there are plenty of nutrients passing by to serve both the host and its tapeworm (tapeworms require very little nutrients.) Still, high performance dogs, who need every Calorie working for them, may show a decrease in performance because of a tapeworm infection.
from http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_tapeworm.html
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the webstie, that was very helpful, and Carl definately has tape worms.

One question I had that the website didn't answer: The tape worm segments are passed and dry into what looks like rice--then it says the segment is eaten by flea larva, then the dog/cat eats the flea larva and it creates tape worms. So theoretically Carl got it at the rescue. Do the apperance of tape worms suggest that flea larvae are present in my apartment?

I was told not to worry about flea treating him every month since he is an indoor cat who was treated at the shelter. Is that true?

Thanks again for all the info, this is all making me feel much better!
post #10 of 15
Nah, the fleas could have been on him/her at the shelter. I take it you've eradicated the fleas in your home and on the cat? If that's the case, you probably shouldn't worry about re-infestation.

Actually, fleas can come in from the outdoors especially this time of year. Sprinkle some flea powder on the entrances to your home. That way, people will track it all over in whenever they walk in. Also, treat carpets with poweder or spray and treat the basement and attic (if applicable) with a flea spray bomb.

Also, if the fleas themselves don't carry the eggs, the ingestion of the flea dirt won't cause your cat to get more tapeworms.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Can we get the flea powder stuff at a normal pet store or is that something that the vet has to give us?
post #12 of 15
I wouldn't treat for fleas unless you are sure the cat has them, and/or the home is infested with them. Flea powder/bombs are poison, and should only be used if absolutely necessary.
Try combing Carl with a flea comb. If you find brown or black specks, put them on a wet paper towel to see if they "run red". If so, the specks are flea dirt, the red is from the ingested blood, and you'll need a flea treatment, which you should get from your vet, not OTC.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
I wouldn't treat for fleas unless you are sure the cat has them, and/or the home is infested with them. Flea powder/bombs are poison, and should only be used if absolutely necessary.
Try combing Carl with a flea comb. If you find brown or black specks, put them on a wet paper towel to see if they "run red". If so, the specks are flea dirt, the red is from the ingested blood, and you'll need a flea treatment, which you should get from your vet, not OTC.
he could have the tapeworms from a previous flea infestation. the worms just a stage in the life cycle, & their presence doesn't mean you or Carl currently have fleas.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunchbox View Post
I question the accuracy of the info there, and would love to hear what other members have to say.
We adopted a dog from a shelter, and within 2 weeks our other two dogs and (I believe the) cat had tapeworms, although there were no fleas. They got pills for the tapeworms, and we pooperscooped the yard every time they went outside, and poured bleach over the affected areas, on the advice of our vet.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
I question the accuracy of the info there, and would love to hear what other members have to say.
We adopted a dog from a shelter, and within 2 weeks our other two dogs and (I believe the) cat had tapeworms, although there were no fleas. They got pills for the tapeworms, and we pooperscooped the yard every time they went outside, and poured bleach over the affected areas, on the advice of our vet.
I agree

As I *knock on wood* have never had an animal with fleas but have had tapeworms a few times...
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