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Roundworm or Tapeworm?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Twice now I've seen a little whitish piece of what (I thought at first) was a piece of shredded mozarrella cheese--about 3/4 of an inch or so, pale white, and shiny. The first time I threw it in the trash, thinking it had come from cooking. The second time it was attached to our new (one month with us so far) kitten's BUTT!

EEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

I picked it up and it scrunched in and out like a worm. Freak out time (and to make it worse, I was making fettucini alfredo at the time....try eating THAT after finding a worm! )

But now I'm confused....was it roundworm? was it tapeworm? It was a segment, and from memory was noodle-like. But it WAS a segment, and it was on the fur below our kitty's butt....so that could be tapeworm, right?

I went out and got de-wormer (for roundworm) and gave it to the kitten as well as our other cat (they share litterboxes). Of course, now I'm freaking out at the idea that 1) my kids have been exposed--they're all very hand-in-mouth and 2)that if it's tapeworm, there might be egg sacs or fleas around.

We got kitty (Jack) from a shelter about a month ago. He hasn't shown any sign of fleas, and I haven't seen any white rice stuff around his bottom (he's all black, so I think I would have noticed). Could he have tapeworm still? Maybe from a flea he ate while at the shelter?? I really don't think we have fleas...

Or if it's roundworm....is there anyway to find out ASAP? How long does it take for the dewormer to make the worms release into the stool? How likely is it that my kids could have ingested eggs? If there are a few random grains of cat litter lying around, or if they hug and kiss the kitty, or kitty gives them a lick, how likely is it that they could have roundworm?

Freaking. Absolutely freaking.
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Or if it's roundworm....is there anyway to find out ASAP? How long does it take for the dewormer to make the worms release into the stool?
Uh I got those same worms from my puppy's butt, so I bought the medicine that treated both kinds of worms. The results were almost instant poopies with worms in them (like before we could get outside!! talk about yuck-o!) and then some more later in the day as well. Sorry I have no idea which kind they are but I can tell you that the medicine works FAST!
post #3 of 10
Tape worms are very long. Round worms look like grains of rice. Either way get them some medication ASAP because both kinds can be caught by humans. The medication works fast but a vet can tell you more.

From your discription they are indeed round worms. My cats had them years ago but no one here but the cats had them.
post #4 of 10
Tapeworms are the ones that look like rice. When dry, they can look more like a sesame seed. Although the rice-looking ones can move by themselves, they are really just a segment of a much longer worm. But the little "rice" pieces are all that usually come out.

Roundworms are longer when they come out.

I'd say your pet has roundworms.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
Tape worms are very long. Round worms look like grains of rice. Either way get them some medication ASAP because both kinds can be caught by humans. The medication works fast but a vet can tell you more.

From your discription they are indeed round worms. My cats had them years ago but no one here but the cats had them.


you have it reversed ... tapes are what you are describing ... the only time i have seen rounds was after worming them and they came out in a clump .. very nasty ... roundworms look like spaggetti ...
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I saw another one today...it's thin and longish, but still only shorter than an inch (maybe 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch). I tried to get it, but Jack ATE IT before I could reach down and get it.

BLECK!

It's been over 24 hours since the roundworm deworming dose, and there aren't any worms in his litterbox. Is this starting to look more like tapeworm, then?? Shouldn't the dewormer have worked by now?

Can tapeworms stretch out and look like a short piece of spaghetti? 1/2 to 3/4 inch-ish?

I worked in the rainforest, for goodness sakes, so I ought to be more of a toughy....but this is still the nastiest thing I've dealt with in recent memory. I can't believe the kitten turned around and ATE it!
post #7 of 10
When my cats had the rice like worms the vet told me they were round worms
post #8 of 10
Rice like worms are tapes...just buy a dewormer for both types and then there is no question ~ or take your cat in and do a fecal. Sometimes tapes will not show up in a fecal smear but your vet should be able to help distinguish.

As for tapes ~ they are not contagious to your children...albeit I would get the dewormer fast just because it is such a nasty problem to deal with :Puke and look at!
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Just in case this thread ever comes up in a "worm" search....

It was tapeworm. The segments were longer than a grain of rice, and rounder than I would have imagined, but they WERE short segments that came out independently and moved around. The one we caught today was over a 1/2 inch (could stretch to 3/4 inch), and moved in a very wormy fashion, bunching up then moving forward with a little triangle-shaped head (though it could become just a blob, without the head shape, if it wanted to). It was pale white and milky.

I caught one today (oddly, just as I was telling dh "I bet it was roundworm and the dewormer worked...I haven't seen one in days") I looked under his little tail, and one squirmed out! Took it to the vet, where they looked at the worm, said it was tapeworm, and then did a check for fleas. He was flea-free, so he must have gotten tapeworm when he was a stray kitten (from fleas or from eating a tapeworm infested rodent). The good news is that, unlike roundworm, my kids and other cat aren't at risk for tapeworm. It needs a flea or rodent host.

So, AHHHHHHH....with one $13 shot, hopefully our wormy woes are over. I am SO ready to be done with finding nasty worms in our house!

Thanks for the help!

ETA: we had a fecal exam done a couple of days ago, and it came up negative. They didn't want to treat for tapes until we saw another one, though.
post #10 of 10
I used Safeguard for Goats (or horses; the goat kind was a smaller bottle)... no vet needed. I picked it up at the farm supply store nearby.
I dosed both my cats and have enough for the rest of their lifetimes for the cost of one shot. It really was a tiny dose... .5ml for my 15 lb. cat... .2ml for my 6 lb. cat. Worked great!
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