Cats with Ancylostomiasis
Hookworms, which belong to the genus Ancylostoma, are parasites that can live in the small intestines of animals. The Ancylostoma ceylanicum and Ancylostoma tubaeforme worms are the hookworms that infect cats. When they are in their fourth stage as larvae, these parasites that feed on blood can cause anemia and inflammation of the small intestine.
Worms that are still alive will leave bite marks, and those bite marks may continue to leak blood. Infections inside the body can also cause the intestines to lose blood. Hookworms can be very dangerous, especially for kittens. So, cat owners need to be on the lookout for signs that their cats have hookworms.
Between the first time this parasite gets into a cat and the time it can spread to other cats is two to four weeks.
Early signs of hookworm include sores on the bottoms of the feet and in between the toes, which are places where the hookworm has gotten into the skin. If you eat hookworm larvae and they get into your lungs, you might cough. There may also be dark, tarry stools, diarrhea, and the inability to go to the bathroom.
If a cat has hookworms, it will look sick and have a small appetite. The insides of its nose, lips, and ears will be pale. Complications can happen quickly and may kill your cat if they are not treated right away.
On the other hand, a small number of worms might not make an older cat sick, but it would make a young animal sick.
Hookworms always get into the body through eating or by the larvae penetrating the skin. They are usually found in dirty water or dirty places. The hookworm leaves the body through the poop and gets into the soil. When an animal walks on infected soil, sand, or litter, the hookworm usually enters the body through the feet. Most of the time, kittens get this disease from their mother’s milk.
You can’t see hookworms with your own eyes. Your vet will need to look at a sample of poop under a microscope. If eggs are found, this will confirm the diagnosis. This exam will also help your vet figure out what kind of treatment to give your cat, which can vary a lot depending on its age, weight, and health. If some kittens in a litter have died, hookworms should be thought of as the cause.
To get rid of the worms, your cat will be given a medicine that kills or makes the worms come out. At times, that will be all that is needed. But you may also need to take iron and vitamin supplements. Treatment for kittens should start when they are three to four weeks old and continue once a month after that.
For pregnant females, treatment should start two weeks after mating and continue for two to four weeks after the kittens are born to get rid of any worms in the intestine and protect the kittens.
Depending on how bad the anemia is and how sick the cat is, the cat (or kitten) may need to be taken to the hospital for fluid therapy, a blood transfusion, and extra oxygen. Be aware that even with treatment, death can happen quickly.
The place where your cats sleep and go to the bathroom needs to be kept clean. Watch out for water that builds up in containers, low-lying areas, and even ponds. If your cat shows any of the above signs, take a sample of its poop to your vet so that an infection can be quickly confirmed or ruled out.
There are no vaccines for these parasites, so the only way to keep your cat safe is to keep an eye out and act quickly. Even though hookworm infections in humans are rare, the parasites can get through the skin, so you must be careful when treating your cat.