Are there any definitive lab tests to determine if a cat has worms of any type? I have a cat that has had chronic diarrhea for over a year. I've taken him to several vets. They have ruled out the typical parasites like giardia and even T. Foetus. One vet wanted to give the cat NEMEX (pyrantel pamoate) oral liquid to kill any potential worms, even though none were seen on microscopic examination.
I don't think it's a good idea to give an animal something like that "in case" they might have worms. Microscopic exam in the office has not seen worms. Are there lab tests available that would give an absolute answer on whether a cat has any type of worms?
He is an indoor cat who has a small fenced-in area outside. The diarrhea is mostly constant but has, over the last year and a half, cleared up for a few days sometimes. There does not seem to be any food allergies from my observations. I've tried changing diet, hypoallergeic foods included, different litters, etc.
He did, twice over this long period have some parasites in his stool----that was observed by microscope in the vet's office. Most vets I've encountered are not too knowledgeable about parasites. I've tried to find one that is associated with the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) but I don't think there are any in my area. I may have to drive him a few hours from here to go to one.
I'm thinking he probably has parasites of some sort that are not easily observable by the usual office tests done by vets----his symptoms lean towards that. I did some hard questioning of the vets I've taken him too and they admitted by just look under the microscope for certain movements of organisms but they don't seem to know definitively-----I called a local veterinary lab and they were unpleasant to me----they only talk to vets.
So, I downloaded the labs list of tests from the labs website (I'm surprised they didn't lock that down for vets only) and have gone through it carefully to see which tests, I think, he should get. It doesn't make sense to give medications to an animal just "in case" he might have parasites----that's what these vets seem to want to do.
This is not an easy case to diagnose. I think the only way to rule out parasites is to do a battery of tests but I can't find a vet who really knows much about parasites. It could also be irritable bowel disease and perhaps steroids would help but I don't want to go down that route (which another vet suggested) unless I can rule out parasites first.
I should have made my last posting a little clearer. I meant to say that two different vets, over this year+ period, had seen parasites in his stool sample----a couple of different times. He was treated with a few different drugs such as METRONIDAZOLE and others. They cleared it up for a bit but the diarrhea came back quickly and since then, the vets I've gone to don't see any parasites in their quick look under a microscope or with the float tests. Based on their clear lack of understanding of the numerous types of parasites that can affect a cat, I don't trust their judgement. I have learned from research that it's difficult to get rid of parasites in an animal. Understanding the type of parasite, how it got into your animal, figuring out which drug is best to remove it and making sure the animal doesn't pick it up again is all very involved.
The primary vet I take him to suggested giving him worming medication "just in case" he might have worms (even though the vets don't see any in a microscope). I don't think that's a good practice.
What I don't know, and find it hard to get an answer to, is if there are definitive tests that a lab would do that would tell whether he had parasites or not. That would be much better than just guessing that he might have worms and putting him through a course of medication that he may not need and that may do more harm than good.
Any Vet worth his salt has a library of parasite infection in their head. Parasitic infections are the #1 cause of wealthy vets - meaning...most pets and animals become sick or with symtoms and they go to the vet, the pet has parasites, the vet gets paid lol.
You just need to find a Vet who is willing to LISTEN to what you have to say about what has been happening, and not flipantly just do a cursory exam. You can make them listen, you are your cats' advocate.
Some parasites are difficult to detect, just because of where they decide to settle in the body. BUT, between stool samples, blood samples and maybe a skin sample the test will rule out or rule in a parasitic infection.
The vet should also be looking at the teeth, gums and tongue, the paws and between them and the claws.
Parasites show up in vary unusual ways.
You have to be the voice for you cat and demand (in a diplomatic way) that action be taken.
Bowel movements like what your cat has endured and for so long is not normal.
It may not be parasitic at all. He may have a stomach or intestinal problem..such as a twisted intestine. Which would only show up in xray. There are many causes other than parasitic...which is why it is on your shoulders to be the advocate and ask about other possible causes and tests.
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