Showing posts with label skin parasites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label skin parasites. Show all posts

Sunday 30 April 2023

Can kittens be born with fleas and worms?

In short, kittens cannot be born with fleas but they can get them from their bedding or their mother very quickly. For me this means that anyone who's involved in breeding their cat (which should not happen by the way unless they are a breeder registered with a cat association) needs to ensure that the queen's nest is spotless in terms of fleas. No fleas in the mother's den would seem to be common sense. Or on the mother. And around the home generally.

Cat flea
Cat flea. Image: MikeB

I am sure though that in homes where cats are breeding informally there are piles of fleas because the owner is behaving irresponsibly. I can visual that scenario quite easily. Many kittens will have a flea infestation at an early age and it will be a treat to their life.

Resistance to fleas is age related: old and young are more vulnerable. They have less resistance and they will be debilitated and some will probably die.

Worms

Neither can kittens be born with worms but they can be infected through nursing so if the mother has worms so will her kittens.

Once again this points to the standard of caregiving in taking proactive steps before the queen becomes pregnant. Is she in good health? And worm-free?

Mother cat and her newborn kittens
Mother cat and her newborn kittens. Pixabay.

The problem with kittens being infected with worms is the same as stated for fleas above. How good are the proactive steps in preventing both endoparasites (worms) and ectoparasites (fleas) taking up residence in and on kittens before the mother becomes pregnant?

It is pretty obvious that in most non-cat breeder homes proactive steps are rarely taken. Kittens will have a tough start to life and some will die.

Thursday 9 February 2023

Should I remove a tick from my cat as soon as possible?

Yes, ticks should be removed as soon as possible. What I like about this photograph - even though it is ugly because of the fact that there are tics attached to this cat's ear - is that it shows you where tics often end up on cats which is, as mentioned, inside the ear flaps. 

I guess this is a convenient height for a tick because they sit on long grass and then crawl off the grass onto a cat that has perhaps been sitting in the grass for a while. Or they are passing through slowly.

Ticks on a cat's ear flap
Ticks on a cat's ear flap. Image: u/PrashantThapliyal

The ticks walked off the grass onto the cat and attached themselves to the insides of the ear in this case. This particular cat has several tics. Perhaps he or she goes to the same place outside the home all the time and it happens to be a place where there is an infestation of ticks.

The owner asks on social media what they are and what to do about them and whether he should remove them.

This leads me to the next issue. Ticks should be removed quickly. In fact, an owner should check their cat at convenient moments if they are an inside/outside cat. What I mean they should be checked at any convenient moment when the caregiver is handling their cat or interacting with their cat in some way including petting.

Lyme Disease in Cats (reinforcing an indoor lifestyle).

It's important because studies have shown that infected deer ticks (infected with the species of bacteria that causes Lyme disease - Borrelia burgdorferi) begin to transmit the bacteria to the host after they've been attached for 36-48 hours.

This means that there is a window of opportunity between the time that they became attached to their host and the beginning of the time when they deliver the bacteria to the host in their saliva. And that window is around 36-48 hours.

If you remove a tick within that timeframe there is very little chance of the host contracting Lyme disease.

Anyone removing a tick should wear gloves and avoid touching the tick with bare hands. They should wash their hands after disposing of the tick in a jar of alcohol. This is because the aforesaid disease can be transmitted to humans just as easily as it can be to cats or any other animal who is the host for this ectoparasite.

"Although deer ticks have been identified in every U.S. state except Hawaii, they are most commonly found along the eastern coast of the United States from Florida to Maine and as far west as Texas. They are also located in the Great Lakes region of the upper Midwest United States." - Tick Check website.

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