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How long until roundworms gone?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
One of the cats threw up tonight and I found a roundworm in the vomit. I suspect Twinkie given his history of frequent dewormings before I adopted him. His last fecal exam in July was negative. But I understand roundworm larvae can remain in the body in a migrating and/or encysted state before they reach the G-I tract and grow into adult worms. I can't find any info on how long it could be before all the roundworms in his system have gone full cycle through his system and he's clean. Anybody know? I suppose I should probably just keeping deworming him periodically regardless of a negative fecal until I'm sure.

Off to the vet tomorrow for six doses of Drontal. :roll:
post #2 of 7
Hi Tim....
it's good to see you.
I don't know about the worms.
Be sure to update how you resolve the problem.
post #3 of 7
The life cycle of the round worm is such that you need to de-worm the cats again after three weeks of the first treatment. The de-wormers kill only the adult worms. We started with drontal, and after 2 doses (3 weeks apart), the kitties still had round worms. We ended up using Strongid, and that worked.

HOWEVER - once you administer the Strongid (or drontal, if that's what you want to stick with), empty all your litter boxes, bleach them, and fill them with clean litter. After three weeks, administer the Strongid again - and then do the same thing with the litter boxes. And for that three weeks, keep the litter boxes as clean as you can, scooping as much as you can, to help prevent reinfestation.

Have the cat(s) checked again after a month or so - you can just drop of fecal samples for them to take a look at.

Good luck!

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Lei -

I got the information I wanted on another board, and I'm reposting it here with the permission of the author, Leah (Queen of the Nile)

Here's a good article on gastrointestinal parasites of cats:
It is a bit complex and overwhelming, but it contains a lot of information.

The time it takes from infection until there are adults in the gut producing eggs is 40-60 days. So all larvae that will wind up as adults in the gut should have finished their migration by that time, and from your perspective the cat would be "clear" of the parasite.

I figure you would want the full picture though, coaster, so here it is. Other larvae will encyst in the tissues and remain dormant for several years until they eventually die. These larvae never migrate to the gut however, so they are not a concern. These encysted larvae have no purpose in males or spayed females. In pregnant females, they migrate to the mammary glands and infect the kittens when they nurse.

The fact that Twinkie had a negative fecal in July does not preclude the notion that he has roundworms. If there are only a few worms in the system, it would be pretty difficult to find eggs on a fecal. Also, the fecal may have been done before the parasite had time to get to the gut and produce eggs.

Cats often pick up roundworm from eating mice, but they can also pick them up by ingesting soil contaminated with the eggs. So since the kitties go out on leashes, it is a realistic possibility that any of the three could have picked up a few roundworm eggs.

Heartgard should kill roundworm, several ectoparasites and act prophylactically against heartworm infection. So either your kitties were exposed one last time after the last heartgard application, or some of the little worms managed to escape unharmed.

I know this likely won't make you feel better, but having a low load of GI parasites can be beneficial. You know the whole business with kids that don't eat dirt or hang out around animals tend to develop allergies. Well, the cat's immune system has developed to exist compatibly with a small parasite burden. They are actually treating people with Crohn's disease with small doses of whipworm eggs. Strange but true!

Probably all of our pets have some sort of creepy-crawly on them right now. Did you know that a significant proportion of the human population carries Demodex in the glands in their eyelids? I guess my point is not to get too worried about the fact that a worm was found despite preventative treatment. By all means deworm the kitties, but don't let it get you too frazzled.
post #5 of 7
Interesting information Tim...
Thanks for sharing it with us.
When Dexter & Sadie were kittens, the vet wormed them 2 or 3 time over a period of weeks.

Fleas carry tape worm here...
that can be a problem but so far, no fleas, no tape for my babies.

There has been a great deal of discussion about the harm over the counter worm meds have caused pets.
It is strongly suggested that only a vet or medication purchased from a vet should be used.

Let us know what you get to treat the worms and if it gets rid of them.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
The vet gave me pyrantel (Strongid) -- enough for three doses for each cat. I would have preferred Drontal because I've never had any problem giving tablets to my cats, and this pyrantel is a liquid which I have syringe up and then squirt down the cats' throats. Quite messy. But it's supposed to be effective against roundworms.
post #7 of 7
Good luck...
Keep us updated please.
Goodbye worms.
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