Have a stool check done for the kitty’s health. Have a new kitten wormed for yours.

 

Question:

We got a new cat last week and took him to the vet for his first shots. After the doctor gave him the shot he said that we need to bring in a stool sample to check Teka for worms. He also said Teka needs to be wormed anyway even if they don’t find worms in his stool. Why not just worm the darn cat in the first place and forget the stool sample?

 

Dr. Nichol:

That piece of advice is really more about you and your family than about Teka. First, though, let’s talk about Teka and his health.

 

There are about a half dozen different internal parasites that can infect pet cats in the US. Some parasites are more dangerous than others but any of them can cause weight loss, diarrhea, poor hair coat, and sometimes death. For the most part, each parasite requires a different medication to safely eliminate it from the cat’s body. A fresh stool sample is important because it is examined under the microscope for parasite eggs. Since the eggs have a distinctive appearance, we can identify the type of parasite when we find eggs in the stool. Then we send home the right medication, get rid of the little creeps, and we all live happily ever after.

 

So if it’s that easy, why do we give a wormer too? That’s the part that’s for you (No, you don’t take the wormer.) It turns out that two if these parasites, round worms and hook worms, are transmissible to people. And while an otherwise healthy adult would have little problem, babies can suffer damage to their livers, brains, or eyes. But while stool exams are important no lab test is 100% accurate. In fact it is not rare for a pet with a belly full of worms to have a day when no worms lay eggs thus showing us no evidence of the worms in the stool.

 

All of that being true, the experts in infectious disease have issued this advice. For the health of the pet, check a stool sample and treat for any parasites found. For the health of the family, make sure there is no risk of roundworm or hookworm infection by using a wormer that is effective against both.

 

Fortunately, we have one. It’s cheap, totally effective, and even tastes good. (No I haven’t tried it-but I don’t get any complaints either.) It does need to be repeated in 3 weeks, but so does Teka’s vaccination. Oh, its name-Strongid. Ask for it.