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Intestinal Parasitic Infection (Strongyloidiasis) in Cats

Strongyloidiasis in Cats 

Strongyloidiasis is an uncommon intestinal infection with the parasite Strongyloides tumefaciens, causing grossly visible nodules and diarrhea. (It is also possible for cats to develop an infection with the parasite S. stercoralis, but there has not yet been a reported case in the United States.) S. tumefaciens is relatively host-specific, but there is a potential for transmission to humans.

Symptoms and Types

  • Inflammation of the skin, rash (dermatitis)
  • Cough, bronchopneumonia
  • Diarrhea or constipation, especially in newborn kittens
  • Blood in stool
  • Mucus in stool

Causes

There are several ways your cat may become infected with S. tumefaciens, including skin penetration, ingestion of contaminated feces, and nursing from an infected bitch. There is an increased prevalence of stronglyoidiasis in kennels, especially when there is poor sanitation and high temperatures and humidity.

Diagnosis

The challenge your veterinarian will face will be distinguishing the cause of the cat's symptoms, which may be due to several other parasites or bacteria or viruses. He or she may culture a sample of your cat's feces, or perform a colonoscopy on the animal to identify the infective agent and check for a firm colon, which is commonly associated with S. tumefaciens.

 
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