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Helminthiasis caused by nematodes, or helminths that are round in cross section (toxocarosis, toxascaris, uncinariosis, ankylostomosis, etc.) are the most common helminth infestations among cats.

Nematodes are fairly small parasites whose dimensions rarely exceed a few centimeters. Outside, the worms are covered with a cuticle, on which there may be thorns, papillae and other outgrowths, allowing to differentiate different genera and types of roundworms. These are dioecious parasites whose females are always larger than the males.


Hookworms - rather small helminths, 1-2 cm long, parasitic in cats and dogs in the small intestine. The oral capsule of these nematodes is armed with three powerful hooks, with the help of which parasites attach to the intestinal mucosa to suck blood. Special glands located in the oral cavity with hookworm, secrete a secret that causes hemolysis and promotes hemorrhage. Most often, cats have Ancylostoma caninum, less often - Ancylostoma tubaeforma. Infection occurs after eating the larvae of parasites that are found in contaminated soil or in feces. Vertical transmission of hookworm from a cat to kittens is not observed either through the placenta or through milk. With significant multiplication of hookworm blood loss is quite significant and leads to the development of anemia. Sometimes the disease is very severe.

Symptoms: growth retardation, weight loss, wool dims, becomes disheveled. In the acute form of vomiting, diarrhea mixed with blood, anemia.

Treatment: poliverkan, kanikantel plus, panakur, cestale kat, dirofen, alben C, prazitsid, febtal, piperazine-based drugs - together with gamavit. However, hooking is more difficult to expel from the digestive tract than other nematodes, so the treatment course is longer.


Dirofilariasis is a transmissible parasitic disease of predatory animals (dogs, cats, wolves, foxes, etc.). The causative agents of the disease are light yellow cardionematodes of the family Filariidae: Dirofilaria immitis, Dirofilaria repens and others. Dirofilaria immitis usually parasitizes in the right ventricle of the heart, in the cavity of the pulmonary artery, but with strong invasion in other arteries of the lungs, in the hollow veins, in the right atrium, and also in the subcutaneous tissue. The filamentous body of dirofilaria is covered with a thin cuticle. Mature helminths have a length of 25-30 cm, and the size of viviparous larvae (microfilariae) is only 0.2-0.3 mm.

Dirofilariasis is transmitted through mosquito bites from the Culicidae family, which serve as intermediate hosts, and a person can also become infected. Infection of cats occurs in the process of feeding mosquitoes with blood, during which invasive larvae penetrate from the insect's trunk into the blood of the definitive host. Within three months, the larvae develop into subcutaneous adipose and connective tissue, shed twice and turn into the next stage of larvae, which migrate through the circulatory system to the heart and pulmonary artery, where after 3 months they become sexually mature. The disease occurs seasonally (outbreaks are mainly recorded between April and early summer) and is characterized by cardiac, hepatic and renal complications. In cats, the disease is much less common than in dogs, but is more severe, given the small size of the heart. In Russia, this disease is still relatively rare, localized mainly in the Far East and in the southern regions.

Symptoms: chronic dry or, on the contrary, wet cough, shortness of breath, tachycardia, symptoms of heart failure, wheezing in the lungs, skin cyanosis.

Treatment should be prescribed by a veterinarian after testing and diagnosis. Effective: adamectin, filarsen, levamisole (its purpose is contraindicated for cats), iwomek (mainly against larvae, it is used at a dose of 200 µg / kg orally in combination with propylene glycol), arsenamide (only against mature parasites) together with gamavit, mebendazole (by mouth, 40-80 mg / kg for 30 days).

Prevention: Stronghold (Selamectin) is effective, as well as Milbemycin (Interceptor®), used for 2-3 months. It is also believed that a single application of ivomek, or ivermectin (0.2 ml per 5 kg of weight, subcutaneously) during the breeding season of mosquitoes helps prevent the development of larvae in the cat's body.


One of the most common helminthiasis in cats is toxocariasis, most often affecting kittens up to three months of age.
Toxocars are rather large (in cats up to 10 cm in length) nematodes, gray-yellow in color, which are localized in the small intestine, sometimes in the bile ducts of the liver and pancreas. Toxocar larvae penetrate into various organs and tissues, encapsulate, are able to penetrate the placenta and have various damaging effects on the body. Toxocars can cause intestinal obstruction, blocking the lumen of the intestine, and also clog the bile ducts and other ducts.

The definitive (basic) hosts of tokokar - cats, foxes, arctic foxes, cats secrete helminth eggs with feces. In the external environment, under favorable conditions, eggs develop to the invasive stage in 8–15 days (during this time a larva forms in the egg). Animals become infected both by the alimentary route, by eating invasive eggs, and by eating rodents. In the gastrointestinal tract, the larvae are released from the membranes, penetrate the intestinal wall, enter the bloodstream, enter the portal vein, then into the right half of the heart and lungs, from the blood capillaries of the lungs into the alveoli, bronchioles, bronchi, trachea and larynx - In the oral cavity. From the oral cavity, the larvae are re-ingested with saliva, reaching the small intestine, where they develop to the mature stage for 20 days. The high prevalence of kittens with toxocarosis is explained both by intrauterine infection and by transmission of the larvae with mother’s milk. Recently, this disease has become a serious medical and social problem, because toxocar larvae that infect humans from animals (including cats) are able to migrate in the human body, causing the severe visceral larvae migrans syndrome - migratory larvae, in which the larvae of these nematodes are affected skin and internal organs (lungs, liver, brain, trachea, muscles, stomach, and even eyes). Toxocaras are particularly dangerous for young children.

Most seriously ill are kittens, in whom the disease is usually caused by Toxocara cati - ascaris of 12 duodenal intestine. In adult cats, especially in rural areas, Toxocara leonin is also found.

There are acute and chronic course of the disease.

Symptoms: wool is dull, mucous membranes are pale or icteric, kittens are poorly growing, depleted, they may have signs of rickets. In severe cases, vomiting, appetite distortion, bloating, diarrhea, alternating with constipation. In case of acute current, body temperature rises, CNS disorders are possible. During the migration of larvae through the lungs, pneumonia can develop.

Treatment: cestal kat, kanikantel plus, panacur, poliverkan, dirofen, alben C, prazitsid, febtal, drontal for cats - together with gamavit. Treatment of a cat during pregnancy does not prevent embryo infestation and does not affect the encapsulated parasite larvae.


A rare disease in cats that is caused by filamentary nematodes of Thominx aerophilus up to 2 cm long. Earthworms are intermediate hosts. Cats become infected by accidentally swallowing an infested worm. Tominksy parasites in the nasal cavity, trachea and bronchi of cats.

Symptoms: shortness of breath, nasal discharge, cough, bronchopneumonia.

Treatment: tsestal kat, kanikantel plus, Ivomek - together with gamavit.


The causative agent of this disease is the nematode Uncinaria stenocephala. These are rather small (about 1-1.5 cm in length) parasites of a light yellow color, whose definitive owners are cats and dogs. Cats are usually infected by the alimentary route. Kittens are most susceptible to the disease.

Symptoms: in adult animals, symptoms of the disease are usually absent. With a strong invasion, especially in kittens, the general condition is depressed, the appetite decreases, the animal loses weight, there may be diarrhea alternating with constipation, vomiting.

Treatment should appoint a vet. Apply kanikantel plus, poliverkan, panakur, cestal cat, dirofen, alben C, prazitsid, febtal, preparations based on piperazine, etc. - together with gamavit.
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