Echinococcosis in cats: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Due toEchinococcus multilocuralis, a A parasitic flatworm, echinococcosis is harmless to most cats. On the other hand, it is very important to play the prevention card because it is a zoonosis, disease transmissible to humans. In humans, it is in the liver that the larvae develop, causing the progressive destruction of this organ, but the lungs can also be affected. The form of parasitosis that develops in humans, alveolar echinococcosis, may be deadly because it is extremely difficult to treat. Let’s see what it is about this parasitosis in cats and what are all the precautions to take to prevent it.

Echinococcosis: symptoms in cats

This parasitosis only causes particular symptoms in cats heavily infested with the parasitic worm known as the fox worm. The owner of the animal can therefore be rightly concerned if his cat has diarrhea and lean.

It is possible to detect echinococcus eggs in the feces of the cat, but it is only intermittently that they are discharged. To be certain that the animal presents this parasitosis is therefore almost impossible for the owner who must, in the slightest doubt, consult the vet.

It is very important to note that‘a contaminated human may have no symptoms for years, but their health is still at risk. Note that cats do not contaminate each other. It is therefore by the small rodents that the cat contamination is mainly possible. As for Man, he cannot contaminate his fellows.

Echinococcosis in cats: diagnosis and treatment

To confirm the diagnosis of echinococcosis, the veterinarian should perform a blood test to test the cat’s blood for antibodies.

No treatment does not impose itself in a cat since it is healthy carrier. It will therefore not develop any disease following its infestation by a flatworm type Econococcus. His health is not at risk. The animal must nevertheless receive a specific dewormer.

Echinococcosis: prevention

The fox being the first host of the’Echinococcus, we understand why it is more particularly recommended to take precautions in certain regions of France in order to avoid any contamination. This is the case of Lorraine, the Massif Central and the Jura which are endemic areas. However, caution is essential everywhere because, let us remember, echinococcosis is a very serious zoonosis for humans.

The prevention inevitably goes through the regular deworming of your pet (cat, dog …), at the rate of a dose of one praziquantel anthelmintic at least every three months, or even every month in risk areas and upon returning from vacation, especially if the stay took place in a region where foxes are numerous. The molecule of this dewormer acts at all stages of development of the offending parasitic worm. But it is essential to rely exclusively on the prescription of the veterinarian, the dosage must be adapted to the age of the animal.

For prevent human contamination, in addition to having your animals dewormed, it is just as essential to respect certain rules such as careful hand washing after gardening and / or touching a pet (cat, dog, rodent), and especially not to handle a dead fox. It is also advisable to consume vegetables, fruits and wild berries only after having washed them in clean water. Finally, let us remember that only cooking destroys echinococcosis eggs in food products, which is not the case with freezing.

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