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Questions about worms

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I found a little worm on Puppy's behind this morning. He's got a vet appointment for tomorrow, but I had some questions.

1) How/When did he get them? He's been an indoor cat for a month, and this is the only worm I've seen.

2) Can they spread to humans? Do I need to take any precautions? He does sleep on our bed.

3) Does anyone know how "fresh" his fecal sample should be? I forgot to ask the receptionist, and now they're closed. I got a sample tonight, bagged it, and put it in the fridge. Should I try to get another one tomorrow right before we leave?

(He was a little annoyed when I got his fecal sample. He kept trying to cover it, and I kept pushing him out of the way! I also learned that it's a good thing I got a covered litterbox. I uncovered it so I could watch him. He tossed out 75% of the litter while digging. Then he mewed at me every time he caught me watching!)
post #2 of 3
What did the worms look like?

Different worms come from different sources. Tapeworms are the kind you most often see on the cat's bottom. They come from fleas.

Theoretically worms can spread to humans but, well, you'd have to eat a pretty good amount of his poop for that to happen. If you did that then worms would probably be the least of your worries! So don't worry about that. I've seriously never known of any person getting worms from their cat.

The fresher the sample the better, but worms are usually visible for a while. Tapeworms don't often show up in stool samples, though, so be prepared to describe what you saw to the vet. Tapeworms are very distinctive, looking like grains of white rice. So if you tell your vet that's what you saw, they'll be able to dispense medicine even if the fecal analysis doesn't show anything.

But overall, don't worry. Tapeworms are very, very common and don't normally really bother the cat. He'll be just fine, and the treatment the vet will give him will take care of everything.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Yes, it did look like a tapeworm. It was small, thin, white, and moving. He did have fleas (we started him on Frontline in December) and we had still seen a couple fleas in January. Haven't seen any in a while, so I guess they're gone now. We'll keep using the Frontline anyway.
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