There are many ways kittens can get worms. The most commontype; round worm can be passed from mom either across the placenta or within the milk but there are several others that can affect your kitten as well. Deworming and Fecal Testing is important because there are several human health risks that can be directly linked to household pets having untreated parasites and of course these parasites are stealing valuable nutrients from your kitten and causing irritation in the intestinal lining.
There are three main parts of our kitten deworming program.
Part one is a series of deworming medications that your cat will receive over the next few months. This protocol is geared towards the most common parasites that kittens can have. The first of this is normally a through yet gentle “ multidewormer” administered as a tablet that the kitten would receive during the first vaccination visit. Because of their method of working and the parasite life these will need to be repeated several times.
The second part is to run a stool sample to make sure your kitten doesn’t have anything that a multidewormer did not cover. We send these samples to an outside laboratory where they do a special concentration technique for the most accurate results. We were very pleased when Mojito’s results were negative.
The results of these stool samples are especially important as there are several less common parasites that can also have a significant and unpleasant public health risk associated with them. An example of this would be giardia which causes “Beaver Fever” in people. For this reason we always recommend annual stool exams and deworming even up into your cat’s senior years. Cats can be carriers for many types of parasites humans can catch without showing any signs.
Part three is good hygiene. Simply washing hands well after dealing with the litter box or before eating. It sounds like common sense but good hygiene is one of your best defenses against parasites.
We also commonly find kittens with fleas. Fleas can happen to anyone, they have adapted to the point where we even see apartment cats that never go outside with fleas. The easiest way to “get rid of” fleas is to prevent them, but flea products can be misleading and confusing. There are many products on the market that can prove harmful if not fatal to cats even if used correctly. Others although safe do nothing to kill adult fleas but only provide a version of “flea birth control” these can take months if ever to be effective. The only safe and clinically effective topical adulticides are only available through your veterinarian. A kitten or cat with fleas is also at high risk for getting tapeworms.
Here at Village Cat Clinic kittens will be started on Advantage Multi or Revolution on their first visit. These products may also play double duty as part of the deworming protocol because they have the added benefit of being a basic dewormer and a heart worm preventive.
For his next adventure Mojito will be asking his buddy Krinkles to help demonstrate how to be a good boy while giving a blood samples for preaenesthetic testing as well feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus testing.
Written by Angelina Johnstone RVT