I have an elderly cat with what appears to be tapeworms. I hate to have to give her the standard "poison" because of her age. Is there any other way to safely get rid of these without harming her?
Linda from Lower Adirondacks, NY
I'm not sure what you're calling poison, but the regular tapeworm meds. (Droncit is a good one) are very safe and not harmful to pets. Ask your vet about the safety of his recommended meds. for an elderly cat. (01/09/2009)
Playing devil's advocate here: I Googled and all the supposed "natural" remedies all look like a bunch of sales pitches and there is no guarantee that they won't harm your kitty any less than traditional medicine. (I understand that the liver must process medicine, but it also has to process herbs, etc.)
I think the question you need to ask yourself is which is worse: "traditional medicine which will for certain remove the tapeworms or taking a chance that the tapeworms might not be completely gone from untested natural remedies".
I doubt your elderly kitty cat is feeling very well with the tapeworms because the worms sap all the nutrients from the food your baby eats.
You can get Tradewinds over the counter tapeworm meds at many pet stores, including PETsMART, or online at many pet supply places. They are exactly the same medication as Droncit (praziquantel), but cheaper and don't require a prescription. Tapeworms or any parasite can be a real problem for an elderly cat that needs all the nutrients it can get. (01/10/2009)
And I would add that controlling fleas usually helps to control the tapeworms so that after she is over them she won't get them again. (01/14/2009)
The only time that you should be really worried about giving your cat tapeworm medicine is when your cat already has liver or kidney problems to begin with. If your kitty does not have these problems than you are probably OK to give the wormer to her/him. FYI on the over the counter medicine yes it has the same stuff in it, but it is not as concentrated and therefore most likely will not get rid of all of the worms and the ones left will have built up a resistance to it, never a good thing.
If you are only concerned about the toxicity of what you are giving which can be a concern you have several herbal options first on my list would be black walnut extract (Google it, you will find that it is a very old vermifuge (parasite killer) and very effective as a full spectrum wormer ie., it kills more than just tapeworms. You would have to go off the cat's weight and give it several times to ensure that you got rid of all of the worms. Also get rid of the fleas!
They like a previous poster pointed out are usually the reason that you have a tapeworm problem to begin with. Also if you get a sulfur product called MSM its generally used for treating arthritis you can put one tablespoon in a gallon of preferably filtered water and give this to your cat as its exclusive water source. The MSM will cause your cats intestinal walls to no longer have places for the worms to attach to and will cause the attached ones to detach and die. This should not be your main course of treatment, but should be your maintenance treatment between regular worming be they natural or otherwise. Which you should do every 4 to six months. Ask your vet what the best worming schedule is for your cat as they will have the best time frame for your area.
I have done the MSM with all of my animals for years including my horses and even though I worm them regularly I never see any evidence of worms after worming them so I know that it works. I had the privilege of working for a vet who developed his own formulas and was amazing and he taught me this one about the MSM. You can get books on animal herbalism through your library if you ask. Just be sure to consult a vet and tell them what you are doing to be sure that your cat is safe. Best of luck. (01/14/2009)
The best natural wormer is food grade diatomaceous earth. It is a fine powder which is mixed into the wet food. I have used this product for many years. It is also great for fleas inside the house and on the pet. Depending on the area you live it can be hard to find. Look in natural pet stores, or order online. The best online supplier I have found is Seven Farms out of Virginia. (01/21/2009)
By Tammy G.
We always give our cats crushed up egg shells. It cuts up the worms and they come out in pieces. (01/26/2009)
Crushed egg shells, is this a joke post? How in the world would you get a cat to eat them? Can this really be good for an animal? (01/28/2009)
As for the crushed egg shells, if it cuts the worm then it probably cuts the cat as well, and it's not cutting the worm anyways, the worm has segments that break off and come out in the feces, which contain eggs. When it comes out it's alive and moves, then dies and dries out and released the eggs which a flea can then eat and infect another pet or a human if ingested. (06/21/2009)
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