FunNature & AnimalDo you know the risks of gastrointestinal parasites?

Do you know the risks of gastrointestinal parasites?

More than 30% of our pets can suffer from this type of parasites and we may not know it because the symptoms are not very obvious. In addition, 50% of humans are unaware that the same parasites suffered by their pets can be transmitted to themselves, that is, they transmit zoonotic diseases. People most at risk for them are children and immunosuppressed individuals .

Parasites can subsist both inside and outside a living organism. Internal parasites, including gastrointestinal ones, are known as endoparasites . Those that live in the external zone of the animal from which they benefit are called ectoparasites. Both types have complex life cycles that are going to be influenced by weather conditions . It is for this reason that the life of these organisms will depend on the season to which they are accustomed.

Gastrointestinal parasites are differentiated by their appearance

In this article we are going to deal with internal parasites, which we can differentiate into two types: nematodes (round worms) and tapeworms (flat worms). This classification within the internal parasites is given according to their morphology and structure.

One of the main reasons why we go to the veterinary clinic with the cat is precisely because it has gastrointestinal parasites. It is usually more common in young kittens and we usually detect them because, suddenly, we realize that their feces have worms . This is one of the reasons why we recommend periodically checking and observing our animal’s feces, as these can tell us a lot about their health.

– Nematodes. There are two types: roundworms and hookworms. If we talk about roundworms, in their physical structure they are long, with a rounded body and narrower at the ends. Adult nematodes can measure between one and fifteen millimeters. They lodge in the intestine and rob the animal of nutrients, which translates into symptoms such as diarrhea, little weight gain, rough coat, distention of the abdomen, vomiting in which the cat expels the worms … If the infestation is very large , an intestinal obstruction can occur and the life of the furry can be in danger. Cats can become infested with roundworms because they smell or lick some surface with contaminated faeces (infested cats expel the eggs of these parasites through faeces) and also through breast milk.

As for the ancylostomids, they have a kind of hooks in their mouthparts that allow them to firmly anchor themselves to the small intestine of the cat and suck the blood . They are capable of releasing an anticoagulant and if the infestation is large, they can lead to significant bleeding. Black stools are a symptom of bleeding . The feline infested by these gastrointestinal parasites will become anemic, weak, and may die . Ancylostomids are more difficult to see in feces than roundworms, since they are considerably smaller in size. They are spread through breast milk, when the kitten is in the womb or even if it steps on a surface where there are larvae.

– The cestodes. They have a flat body, it could look like a meter of tape and the head has a kind of harpoon or extraction system or a mixture of the two to always feed inside the small intestine of the animal. A cestode can have both sexes, that is, be hermaphrodite. Its measurement can reach meters in length. It is about gastrointestinal parasites that do not usually give symptoms , if perhaps itching in the anus, distention of the abdomen, hair with little luster and remains of worms in the stool.

To prevent the cat from suffering from gastrointestinal parasites as dangerous as the ones we have mentioned, it is best to regularly deworm your pet. Even if you don’t leave home! If you still suspect that your furry is infested, do not hesitate, take him to the vet to confirm or deny your suspicion and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

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