Tapeworm Vs Roundworm For Cats

By | August 30, 2017

A worm infection is one of the creepier health problems that your cat can get. It is dangerous not only to the cat, but also to you and your family members, because many types of feline worms can be transmitted to human. However, choosing the right dewormer can be confusing because there are different products for tapeworm vs roundworm for cats.

Two of the most common types of worms that infect cats are tapeworms and roundworms. It would be nice and easy if one product can be effective for all types of worms and parasites – however, in real life, different worms require different methods to be killed. So, before you buy a dewormer, make sure that you know precisely what worm infection that your cat experiences.

Ideally, going to the vet to conduct a fecal exam is the best way to tell for sure. But there are also several things that you can consider by yourself to help the diagnosis. Below, we are going to see the comparisons between tapeworm vs roundworm for cats.

What is Roundworm?
Roundworms belong to the phylum Nematode, which is a very diverse phylum that inhabits a broad range of environments. Roundworms have adapted successfully to almost every ecosystem on the planet, from salt water to fresh water, from the highest to the lowest elevations. They can be found in every layer of the earth’s lithosphere, even at great depths under the surface in gold South Africa’s gold mines. They also represent 90% of the animals living on the ocean floor.

Due to roundworms’ great ability to adapt to different environments, it is not surprising that cats can easily get infected by roundworms. Adult cats are usually infected because of the ingestion of the eggs, which, in turn, are usually found in infected foods, water, vomit, and feces. Meanwhile, kittens can be infected during the pregnancy or by drinking milk from an infected mother. Roundworms can easily spread – if one newborn in a litter is infected by roundworms, the entire litter is at a great risk of contracting the parasite as well.

What is Tapeworm?
Tapeworms are the most well-known species of the class Cestoda of the phylum Platyhelminthes. All worms in this class are parasites. However, tapeworms aren’t spread as wide as roundworms. Tapeworms have much more limited ability to adapt to different environments.

A tapeworm infection can occur by the ingestion of the eggs as well as the larvae cysts. In turn, tapeworm eggs are usually found in infected foods, water, and feces. Meanwhile, the larvae cysts can be found in raw or under-cooked meat. But the most common way for cats to get a tapeworm infection is by accidentally eating a flea when playing on the floor or licking the fur. Hence, preventing a tapeworm infection on your cat is as easy as keeping fleas at bay.

Anatomy
Roundworms and tapeworms, especially the ones that infect cats, have very different anatomy and structure. Roundworms are typically thin and, of course, rounded. The movements and proportions are similar to earthworms. These worms are able to grow up to 5 inches long, and sometimes even longer.

On the other hand, a tapeworm’s body is more modular. It is usually segmented into dozens of small pods. One interesting (and perhaps creepy) fact is that, actually, each of these segments contains the worm’s eggs. The eggs are released when the pod detaches from the main body.

Diagnosis
When choosing the right treatment for tapeworm vs roundworm for cats, you need to know for sure which worm that actually infects your cat. So, correct diagnosis is vital. The best way for an accurate diagnosis is by going to your vet, who will then request a stool sample. A fecal exam can easily determine your cat’s worm problem.

However, you can determine a tapeworm infection quite easily if you see small white segments that stick to your cat’s fur around the rear end. They look like small grains of rice. They are usually dry and not squirmy. These are the egg-containing segments that have detached from the worms. In addition, if your cat has fleas, there is a chance that it has a tapeworm infection. A tapeworm infection can also be indicated by your cat licking or biting around the anus, or dragging its butt across the floor to reduce itching.

On the other hand, a roundworm infection can be identified if you find the thin, long worms in the stool. They almost look like spaghettis. You can also identify a bad case of roundworms if you find little squirmy blobs.

But the worms aren’t always found in the stool. Sometimes, a roundworm infection doesn’t show any visual hint, which is why this particular infection is more difficult to identify. Other symptoms of a roundworm infection include colic, lethargy, abdominal swelling, vomiting, anorexia, abnormal feces, and coughing.

Treatment
Tapeworm vs roundworm for cats require different treatments, so make sure that you choose the correct one. Even so, both types of treatments are available as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

There are several types of drugs that can treat a roundworm infection. Pyrantelpamoate is an OTC medication available under several brand names such as Nemex and Strongid. However, this medication only kills the adult worms and not the larvae. Because of that, you will need to deworm your cat at intervals for several weeks. Other medications include febantel and piperazine.

A tapeworm infection is resistant to some dewormers, but the ingredient anthelmintic is effective for this case. Praziquantel and niclosamide are also effective choices to kill tapeworms.

Tapeworm For CatsRoundworm For Cats
BrandBayer Tapeworm Dewormer for CatsExcel
Features- Easy effective way to remove common tapeworms - Tablets may be crumbled and mixed with food or taken by mouth- Safe and effective against large roundworms - Great taste cats love - 4 fl oz bottle
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Ratings*4.6 out of 5.0 stars3.9 out of 5.0 stars
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Conclusion
Tapeworms and roundworms can infect cats, and they require different medications. A tapeworm infection is relatively easier to prevent by keeping the environment clean and by keeping fleas at bay. A tapeworm infection is also quite easier to notice by white segments on the rear end and itchiness. The medications are anthelmintic, praziquantel, and niclosamide. On the other hand, a roundworm infection is more difficult to prevent and diagnose. It can be indicated by the worms in the stool, squirmy blobs, lethargy, abdominal swelling, coughing, and vomiting. The treatments for a roundworm infection include pyrantelpamoate, febantel, and piperazine.

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