Symptoms can be varied depending on the infestation:
For your cat:
- Poor growth
- Poor coat, loss of vitality and lethargy
- Pot-bellied appearance
- Inflammation of the intestinal wall, abdominal pain
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Intestinal bleeding, which might show up in stools.
- Anaemia (identified by pale gums and tiredness)
- Itchy sores (often on paws)
Children are often most at risk due to their lack of hygiene awareness, close contact with pets, or from contmainated sandpits or soil. Depending on the type of infestation, the health risks can range from mild to extreme
- Intensely itchy red tracts in the skin, known as 'summer itch'
- Damage to internal organs
- Blindness (roundworm)
- Life threatening formation of cysts in vital organs (Hydatid tapeworm)
Worms can live anywhere in the body, though they prefer the lining of the intestine as it is an ideal place to breed.
Hookworm attach themselves to the lining of the small intestine and have a large appetite for blood. This makes them very dangerous for cats, especially kittens, as they can couse severe aneamia or even death. Symptoms of infection include bleeding in the inteine (identified by blood in the stool), abdominal pain, diarrhoea and itchy skin sores. Heavy infectins can cuse serious anaemia (identified by pale gums and tiredness).
Roundworm are named for their large, round bodies. They live in the small intestine and infestations are very common. The sypmtoms to look out for in cats include diarrhoea, vomiting, poor growth and tiredness/lack of energy.
Symptoms of heavy infection include weight loss, diarrhoea, anal irritation and a poor coat. However, infected cats sometimes show no symptoms at all.