My cat has tapeworms that won’t go away. What is the cause and treatment?
Original Question: What can I give my cat for tapeworms? I have used the vet pills but they keep coming back and my cat Bubba does not react well to them. Is there a more natural alternative that isn't so harsh? - Marilyn
Thanks for your question.
This is a strange question to me. I have never in the 14 years I’ve been practicing seen a case of tapeworms in cats that weren’t resolved by the medication I dispensed from the clinic. So if you actually used some prescription medication for feline tapeworms, I have to consider that it may not be the right diagnosis. I would recommend that you repeat a fecal exam and confirm the type of parasite your cat has and have your veterinarian prescribe the appropriate medication. This should really solve the problem.
There could be another reason for failure; cats can get tapeworms from fleas. When they bite themselves they will inadvertently ingest the fleas that carry tapeworm eggs so if the tapeworms keep coming back, it could be because your cat has fleas. The flea burden can be minor enough that you really don’t see symptoms of itching. So another option is to concurrently treat your cat with a flea medication.
Another reason for failure could be repeated exposure to tapeworms. There could be another cat in the household that is carrying them or if you cat goes outside it could be repeatedly picking them up. You may need to consider changing its exposure to other animals or the outdoors if you want to get the condition under control.
It’s great when we can use natural products and avoid chemical medications, I am always in support of that. At the end of the day, whatever we decide to use has got to work. I have seen a lot of cases where a natural dewormer for cats fail. However, I have never really seen any negative impact to giving natural medications so although they are safe, their ability to solve the problem may be questionable. It’s easy to figure out if a natural product works. You would first administer it, then about two weeks later, perform another fecal exam and see if the tapeworms are still present. I would suggest consulting your veterinarian to ensure this medical issue gets resolved.
I hope this helps in solving the problem.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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