Eliminating Cat Hookworm Infections with Drontal

A cat hookworm is an intestinal parasite. This parasite gets its name from the hook-like appearance in the parts of its mouth.

How Hookworms Infect Cats

Hookworms use their hook-like teeth to attach themselves to the intestinal wall of a cat. Once attached, the parasite will feed off the host's blood. While in the cat, the hookworm will lay eggs that are then excreted with the cat's feces. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks for the eggs to hatch. The larvae, being good swimmer, will live in puddles, moisture on plants, or other small bodies of water until a host comes along.

The hookworm enters a cat's body if it is ingested. The places a hookworm is most likely to be found and ingested are moist surfaces, contaminated food or contaminated water.

A cat hookworm can enter a feline by burrowing in the cat's skin. The parasite then travels through the bloodstream, to the lungs, and then the trachea. A cat will cough-up and then swallow the hookworm, which will then travel to the small intestine.

A hookworm that enters a pregnant cat can also infect the fetuses. A nursing mother cat can also unintentionally pass on the parasite to her kittens through her milk.

Symptoms of a Hookworm Infection

Hookworm infections can cause severe illnesses in a cat. Anemia is one of the most common ailments in cats infected with hookworms, causing the gums to appear pale and the feline to become weak. Hookworms can affect the growth of an infected cat or cause him or her to become emaciated.

Treating a Cat Hookworm Infection with Drontal

Drontal Plus is a common medication a veterinarian will prescribe to kill intestinal parasites in cats that are at least one month in age or weigh more than 1.5 lbs. This medication can kill three different types of parasites: cat hookworms, roundworms and whipworms. Drontal tablets can be placed in a cat's food or taken by mouth. However, Drontal comes in a single-dose formula that is based on a cat's weight.

Drontal works by disintegrating a parasite's skin internally. The hookworm is then completely broken-down and eliminated by the cat's immune system. Drontal can also cause paralysis in a hookworm, causing it to loosen its grip on a cat's intestinal wall. The cat can eliminate the hookworm in a bowel movement if this happens.

This de-worming medication has a high success rate. Drontal's side effects are minimal and rare. They include loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea, and increased salivation. Talk to your veterinarian if you are concerned about a side effect that seems unusual in your cat after a Drontal treatment.

It is recommended that cats be tested on an annual basis for parasites, especially hookworms, since symptoms of an infection may not be apparent until it is severe. If a hookworm infection is suspected in your cat, take him or her to the veterinarian's clinic as soon as possible. This parasite can not only cause multiple problems for a cat, but can also infect humans.