Tapeworm treatment. What happens?
September 15, 2017 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Our new kitty Wolfgang Pauli arrived from the shelter complete with handsome ear furnishings, fluffy tail, and a tapeworm. The vet just treated it with a large pill. I find myself morbidly and grossly curious: what's going to happen next? Will the tapeworm come out in the litterbox? Will something else horrifying happen? Do they die in segments? Obligatory weird sideways photo.
posted by media_itoku to Pets & Animals (7 answers total)
Well, I'm not a vet, but one of the kittens I'm taking care of left me a tapeworm present in the litterbox this morning and it was GROSS. It was about six inches long, possibly a segment rather than the whole thing, and about the size and color of a dirty white shoelace. But it's the first one I've seen and I have cleaned a lot of cat poop over the past few weeks (and they probably came in with worms). So you might see it, might not. Let me reiterate, GROOOOOOOOOOOSS. I did take a photo if you are interested? But uh. didn't want to post it unless you really want to see it. PM me I guess if you want to be grossed out.

(The kittens are being dewormed tonight, so no need to worry about them.)
posted by possibilityleft at 2:26 PM on September 15, 2017

When this happened to my cats, my vet told me the key to the tapeworm medicine is that it changes the acidity of the cat's digestive tract, so the cats basically just digest the tapeworms as if they were food. I never did see any segments in their poop in the following days.
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:39 PM on September 15, 2017

I forgot to say btw, what a beautiful baby you have, and a great name! I hope his little tummy settles well and you only have to view that thing in a photo.
posted by possibilityleft at 2:53 PM on September 15, 2017

My dog had tapeworm when we got her. After the meds, I never saw any evidence in her poop. I guess I never thought about it, but digestion makes sense.
posted by Fig at 4:41 PM on September 15, 2017

I had the same question a few months ago, ended up looking up the active ingredient of tape dewormer on wikipedia. TLDR: " In many instances, only disintegrated and partially digested pieces of tapeworms will be seen in the stool. The majority of tapeworms are digested and are not found in the feces."
posted by Orca at 6:52 PM on September 15, 2017

Umm. My dog had tapeworm a few months ago. I gave her the tablets the pet store sold me, and literally about 4-6 hours later, she passed a large mass of tangled tapeworm. Which was repeated a couple of minutes later, but that mass got stuck halfway out her butt. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

So: dogs are not cats, YMMV, etc. All I'm saying is, be prepared for the worst.
posted by Salamander at 3:51 AM on September 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

My only info to add to this is that if you see a bunch of "sesame seeds" around where kitty has been (blanket, bed), they are not sesame seeds. They are tapeworm segments. The best way to deal with this is to make a grossed out face, gather up the blanket, run outside, shake them all off, then wash in hot water.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:03 PM on September 18, 2017

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