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Kittens have tapeworm.

Species: Cat
Breed: American Short/Mediu
Age: 3-6 months
Hello,
About 4-5 weeks ago I adopted 2 12 week old kittens. They are littermates that had been separated for a few weeks and the vet I got them from sent me some deworming medicine when I got them home and found Shayna (the smaller one) had a really bad case of tape worms. I treated them with the Strongid as instructed; 1 dropper full once a week for 3 weeks. Its more than 10 days after the 3rd treatment and it looks they are both still having a problem with them, but again Shayna more so. Should I just start the treatment all over again or do I need to take them to my vet?
Thanks,
Amy, Gabby and Shayna

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Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Amy. This is an interesting question.

Are you sure it is tapeworms that the kittens had? When cats have tapeworms you will see segments that look like either rice or sesame seeds. The segments are usually stuck to their bum or in the fur near the bum. The only way for a cat to get tapeworms is to either eat an infected mouse or to have fleas.

However, tapeworms are not treated with Strongid. So, I'm guessing they had a different type of parasite. Perhaps they were roundworms?

Before I give you a final answer, can you answer a few questions for me?

-What symptoms did the cats have the first time that you treated them?
-What symptoms is Shayna having now?

Thanks!

Dr. Marie



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Hi Dr. Marie,

The description of tapeworms is exactly what Shayna has. They make their way out and as soon as they hit the air they look like rice or when broken up like sesame seeds and stick to their fur. They were pretty much all over her stool the first time she used the litter box when I brought her home. Also she is fairly gassy but was getting better with the treatment. I can still see them on the stool for both of them when they use the box, but I see them on Shayna more than Gabby. If this isn't treated with Strongid that would explain my problem....

For a little more background the girls were part of a litter of feral kittens that this vet was helping a client adopt out so who knows what they ate before they were rescued.

Thanks,
Amy


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Interesting. It's unusual for young kittens to have tapeworms, but like you said, being feral, who knows what they've been into!

So, you'll need medication that is labelled for tapeworms in order to treat this. If you live in the US then tapeworm is available over the counter (i.e. at the pet store). In other countries, like Canada, it is only available by prescription.

Here is an example of a tapeworm medicine if you want to buy tapeworm medicine online.

For tapeworms you really only need to treat once. There is no need to repeat it.

It's always a good idea to have your vet do a fecal exam for you to make sure there aren't any other parasites there.

Hope all is well!



Customer reply:

Thanks for you help. I'm in the US so I'll give the over the counter stuff a shot and see what happens from there.


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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