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Concern about worms in my kitten

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm trying not to jump to conclusions, but after doing some online research, I think my kitten Kuri may have worms, possibly hookworms. I checked his feces (actually diarrhea) today and found one long stringy thing in the litter, an extremely thin 2-inch long white threadlike string.

We got him from the humane society and learned that he was born into a feral colony, then rescued by a shelter worker. So I'm thinking maybe he got the worms from his mom? Even though they did a deworming on him, maybe we didn't get it all?

He's six months old (we got him 1-1/2 months ago) and he's still very small in size, but has a plump belly. I was wondering why he was never getting very big, although he eats constantly. He's grown a little in the time we've had him, but his shoulder blades are still so bony. And I've noticed that since Thursday, he's been passing gas very loudly when I rub his tummy. The first time it happened, when I picked him up after I came home from work, I thought it was just the cutest and funniest thing because I had never heard any of our kitties fart out loud - and he let one rip! And then I began to notice that he has been smelling of bad gas quite a bit, but I thought it might be due to his wet food (he gets dry food all day and then 1/2 a can of Nutro kitten food in the evening). I was out all day today on errands, and tonight when I cleaned the litterbox this evening, he jumped in and proceeded to have a bad bout of diarrhea while passing lots of loud gas, poor little thing. And that's when I noticed the stringy thing. It was around 10pm when I cleaned the litter box.

It's past midnight now and tomorrow is Sunday, but I plan to call the vet first thing Monday morning to make an appt. for my little one. Can anyone tell me what I need to do? Should I bring samples of his diarrhea if he has it again, or his stool? I put the threadlike thing in a plastic bag, planning to bring that to the vet. However, I'm not sure when they'll be able to see Kuri and I'm a bit unsure as to what to do with it in the meantime - do I refrigerate it or just put the plastic bag in a paper bag and leave it on the shelf? Also, do you know if they vet can determine if he has worms by other methods (blood tests, etc.)?

I'm so worried about him. We got him after my beloved Sumo passed away in August and I have just fallen in love with this little guy and want him to stay healthy. I was hoping that others might be able to share some advice if anyone recognizes these symptoms and how the treatment went. I'll also keep everyone posted on what the vet says later. Thanks so much.

post #2 of 12
Worms can be common in most kittens...ferels or not.....

Did the worms look like curly pasta???...if so it may be roundworm...

either way you are going to want to bring the kit and a fresh sample of stool (no more than 8 hours old) to the vet as soon as you can

Don't panic the kitten should fine until you can get to the vet...but don't procratinate either.....both hookworm and roundworm can cause zoonotic diseases (diseses that can be transmitted to humans)......Hookworms can cause awful selfmutilating itch fests on your skin, and roundworms can cause Hapititis, pnuemonia, and seizures......so make sure you thouroughly wash your hands after dealing with the worms or stool....

also when you bring the sample in...if you can bring in a worm that will make the vets job a lot easier....

good luck...please keep us updated
post #3 of 12
Keep the worm wrapped up well and in the fridge...

as for other methods, they somtimes can determine it through blood tests, but fecal exams are the easiest and usually the most acurate
post #4 of 12
All the symptoms you describe can be caused by worms so a vet visit and fecal exam is essential. All of it can be treated.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Nebula and Jenny, I have put the worm in a little baggie and then in another bag and then in the fridge till I can bring it to the vet.

But I have another question about how he might have gotten the worms? I thought maybe because he was a feral that he was born with them, but I am now wondering if he got them somehow after coming home with us??

For instance, I have read they can get worms from contaminated water or food. We have another cat, Geisha, who is 1 year, 3 months old, and she does not appear to have any of the symptoms that Kuri has.

I give both my cats regular cold tap water from the kitchen sink, but Kuri also likes to lick the water from the bathroom sink drain area and the bathtub drain area. (Geisha, our 1 yr, 3 month old, only licks water straight from the bathtub faucet.) I am always washing my hands and take daily showers, so there's always water in the tub and sinks. I'm not sure what is meant by "contaminated"?

And when we first got Kuri, I made the mistake of giving him some people food - things like cooked deli turkey, tiny bit of homemade potato salad (with potato, mayo, sweet relish, black olives), soft-boiled egg - and he absolutely loved everything I gave him! Of course, I no longer do that, since I didn't want him to beg for scraps, so it's been over a month since he's gotten any people food treats. His diet now consists of dry Chicken Soup for the Kitten Lover's Soul with 1/2 mini can of Nutro Max wet kitten food every evening. My question is, could the people food have been a cause for his worms? I will also be asking these questions at the vet's, but wanted to know if anyone knows - i.e., is there something I can do to prevent them in the future? Did I cause him to get the worms?

I keep the house pretty clean and there is no feces tracked around the place or anything like that. I will call the vet as soon as they open tomorrow morning. Poor little sweetie. I know he will get better once he's treated. I just wish I had listened to my gut and made an appt. sooner, even if it was a day or two sooner. Thanks in advance for any comments.
post #6 of 12
They will not have got worms from any water in your apartment - 'contaminated' water means stagnant or dirty water like ponds or ditches outside. Nor from people food unless it has been allowed to stand around where flies etc can get at it and I am sure that is not the case! All kittens are born with worms, they get them from their moms, some have them worse than others. They also can get tape worms from fleas, which can be brought in on your clothes or shoes, so it is always worth treating indoor kitties with a flea killer from the vet. My current two rescues are over 5 months old and we have so far treated them for about four different kinds of parasites. The vet needs to do a fecal exam so he can identify what needs to be eliminated.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
I was able to make an appt. for Kuri for this morning. I have one stool sample that I picked up and put in a baggie this morning, as well as the threadlike string from his stool on Saturday night. Wish us luck!
post #8 of 12
Most rescue cats have worms and they are fairly easy to treat them. But if you have more than one cat you may need to get them all treated.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, I took Kuri in to the vet this morning, along with a stool sample and the white threadlike string from his stool. The vet said he could not find worms in the stool, and the thread is an actual thread! I'm not sure where he got any string, since I don't have anything lying around, but he could have ingested feathers or fibers from the little furry mice toys.

The vet told me to take away his kitten food (he eats Chicken Soup for the Kitten Lover's Soul dry food with 1/2 mini can of wet Nutro Max kitten food at night, but I also sometimes catch him eating Geisha's adult Nutro dry food), and give him only adult food for a while (which works because he already likes Geisha's food!), and see if that doesn't help with the diarrhea, bloating, and gas. Then to try taking away the wet food, as well. If it doesn't work, he wants me to bring him in again for some blood work to make sure he doesn't have intestinal parasites. Although, I have to say, his belly is not a pot belly all the time - last night he was slim again in the tummy, and I thought if he really had worms that he would be "full" all the time?

I've spoken to different people who say that their cat was a "stinky" gassy kitten but grew out of it and it was due to the food they were eating. Does anyone know what the symptoms of intestinal parasites is or how they get them? Kuri is up to date on all of his shots and he's been seen by the humane society vet (given the "OK" for adoption) as well as my vet for his shots, and now today with the fecal exam.... His temperature, coat, eyes, gums, all look great....
post #10 of 12
Symptoms can include diarrhoea, losing weight, blood or mucous in stools, flatulence, bad smells, staring coat, lethargy.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jennyranson
Symptoms can include diarrhoea, losing weight, blood or mucous in stools, flatulence, bad smells, staring coat, lethargy.
Thanks for the info., Jenny! Well, Kuri definitely does not have the lethargy (he loves to run and play), spiky coat (his fur is soft and kitten-fuzzy and he's grooming himself), blood or mucus in his stool, or weight loss. He's slowly growing, although he definitely is not going to become a large cat, judging by his skinny neck and little paws....

So that leaves the diarrhea and flatulence - although the last few days, he's been having soft stool rather than actual diarrhea - he only had that maybe Friday and Saturday, and a few times in the past month (while he was eating his wet food). I did as the vet said and took away his dry kitten food Monday and Tues. night, leaving him to eat the adult dry food with Geisha during the day, and giving him a 1/2 can of his wet food as usual. However, the last two nights, he threw up all of his dinner (both the wet mixed with the hard food, apparently), so tonight (Wed.) I didn't give him the canned food, either, and he's been eating the adult food. So far no vomiting and he looks good - healthy, active, playing as usual. I think I will just have to discontinue the wet food altogether.

I will see how he is for the next few days and give the vet a call if he vomits again, or has any diarrhea, so we can find out if it could be intestinal parasites. But he's not showing any of the other symptoms, so I have a good feeling that this is definitely food-related. He loves the wet food, but I think Kuri's stomach is just very sensitive and he cannot handle it.

Thanks for all the advice on the worms, too, everyone. I will know in the future what to look for if I think they might have worms... yikes, I hope never.
post #12 of 12
I am glad to hear you took Kuri to the vet and he is getting better. Thanks for the update!
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