Whipworms in Cats

Cecilia de Cardenas
Feb 2, 2009
Image: Photo Grapher / via Image Bank

Trichuriasis in Cats

Whipworm infection in cats is not as common as in dogs, but in both North America and Europe, it is a disease conditon that can affect cats. Whipworms are able to live in an environment anywhere from a few months to a few years, and their eggs can be present in soil, food, and water, as well as in feces and animal flesh. Cats are usually infected with whipworms (Trichuris serrata in North America, and Trichuris campanula in Europe) through ingestion of infested matter, but can also be contracted from other animals. Additionally, whipworms can infect cats of any age.

Whipworms can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects dogs, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

Symptoms and Types

A whipworm infection may present itself as a large bowel inflammation or bloody diarrhea, or it may be asymptomatic. Other symptoms commonly associated with a whipworm infection include dehydration, anemia, and weight loss. It is worth noting that symptoms may begin prior to any visual evidence of whipworm eggs.

Causes

Cats contract whipworms by ingesting infested or contaminated matter (e.g., food, water, flesh).

Diagnosis

The veterinarian will confirm the diagnosis by conducting the fecal flotation procedure on a stool sample. If parasitic eggs or whipworms are present, they will float to the surface of the glass slide. Whipworm infection will need to be diffrentiated from other parasitic worm infestations, including lungworms and worms contracted from eating rodents. 

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