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Author Topic: My cat has tapeworm - does he also have fleas?  (Read 1736 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
My cat has tapeworm - does he also have fleas?
« on: December 15, 2019, 07:49:27 pm »



I noticed a couple of tapeworm segments on our cat's bum when he tried to wave it in my face earlier  :yuck: .


My understanding is that tapeworm in cats require a flea as an intermediate host:







However, I've not seen any evidence of fleas on said cat, nor any 'flea dirt' on his bed.

Does anybody know, does the presence of tapeworm automatically also mean I should treat for fleas, or could there be another explanation?

"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett
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doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: My cat has tapeworm - does he also have fleas?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2019, 02:47:57 pm »
A cat can get tapeworm from any source - even just licking grass that another cat has passed by
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some say it's in England.
Re: My cat has tapeworm - does he also have fleas?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2019, 04:19:18 pm »
Not withstanding doganjo's advice and your failure to find evidence of fleas Womble, I know what I'd do in your situation: while I try to avoid medicating my pets unnecessarily, I would administer systemic treatments for both worms and fleas.
However, if it was me, I would stagger the treatments - that might not be 'medically' necessary, but it's what I do anyway.


Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: My cat has tapeworm - does he also have fleas?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2019, 07:17:25 pm »
A cat can get tapeworm from any source - even just licking grass that another cat has passed by


So how does that work given the lifecycle above?  Is there an alternate one which doesn't involve an intermediate host?
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: My cat has tapeworm - does he also have fleas?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2019, 07:24:42 pm »
A cat can get tapeworm from any source - even just licking grass that another cat has passed by


So how does that work given the lifecycle above?  Is there an alternate one which doesn't involve an intermediate host?

Not as far as I know.  That’s what tapeworms do.  Primary host, intermediate host. 

Roundworm eggs need no intermediate host - although they can be transported by other animals - but tapeworms need the other host in the lifecycle, and for the primary host to then ingest the intermediate host (or at least, their flesh which contains the cysts which contain the larvae.)
« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 07:26:32 pm by SallyintNorth »
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Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: My cat has tapeworm - does he also have fleas?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2019, 07:37:29 pm »
Thanks Sally.

This one reminds me a bit of my Dad telling me never to drink from mountain streams when hiking, in case I contracted liver fluke. I realise now that you'd have to be really going some to ingest a mud snail!!


The thing I find fascinating is how did these parasites evolve in the first place? For example, take the Guinea Worm. You get them by drinking water which contains an infected cyclops. Once in your stomach, the cyclops dies and releases the larvae, which burrow into your intestinal wall and then migrate into body tissue to mature and mate (yes, really!). The females then migrate to the surface of the skin, causing a blister full of larvae which bursts in contact with cool water, releasing millions of larvae..... which get eaten by a cyclops.


Like seriously? How on earth did that come about?  Evolution seems to involve too many weird and wonderful steps, whilst creation involves a pretty seriously messed up God, don't you think?  ??? 


Answers on a postcard please, to "Womble's parasitology and religious philosophy hour, C/O TAS".
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: My cat has tapeworm - does he also have fleas?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2019, 08:09:06 pm »
Thanks Sally.

This one reminds me a bit of my Dad telling me never to drink from mountain streams when hiking, in case I contracted liver fluke. I realise now that you'd have to be really going some to ingest a mud snail!!


The thing I find fascinating is how did these parasites evolve in the first place? For example, take the Guinea Worm. You get them by drinking water which contains an infected cyclops. Once in your stomach, the cyclops dies and releases the larvae, which burrow into your intestinal wall and then migrate into body tissue to mature and mate (yes, really!). The females then migrate to the surface of the skin, causing a blister full of larvae which bursts in contact with cool water, releasing millions of larvae..... which get eaten by a cyclops.


Like seriously? How on earth did that come about?  Evolution seems to involve too many weird and wonderful steps, whilst creation involves a pretty seriously messed up God, don't you think?  ??? 


Answers on a postcard please, to "Womble's parasitology and religious philosophy hour, C/O TAS".
Great.... I am just about to have me tea.....

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: My cat has tapeworm - does he also have fleas?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2019, 09:01:59 pm »
I do know of a worse one Anke, but I decided not to post it!!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: My cat has tapeworm - does he also have fleas?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2019, 07:01:34 am »
I do know of a worse one Anke, but I decided not to post it!!
Thanks!
As seasoned smallholders the dinner conversation round here does usually steer towards the animals and what's wrong with them, but we stop at worms...
Hope you get your cat sorted. I would also do an "all-round" treatment btw.

 

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