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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19293
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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I have a 4 year old male cat that may have tapeworms, he

Customer Question

I have a 4 year old male cat that may have tapeworms, he vomited a few times over the last two days, sometimes food, sometimes just liquid. Then after his stomach calmed down - usually I'd give him a few blades of grass to calm his belly, he'd eat after a couple of hours & be fine. Today he's started coughing which I've never heard him do before. It could be a hairball that's not coming up? Do I need to take him in right now or should I go in tomorrow? He only coughs once or twice, swallows a few times, and that's it. It's only happened 3 times, just started today, but I'm a nervous mom. Yes potential to have the tapeworms through fleas - he's indoor but I let them out on the back deck, and there is a stray with fleas who hangs out. I can't ever find any fleas ON him though. Using all natural flea spray but the worry is he's getting infected fleas & swallowing them. Went through a terrible bout of stomach issues with my oldest cat from tapeworms just in December. I do NOT want to use chemical flea preventative on them, and I'm afraid to just worm them (because of the toxicity of the wormers) without a vet's prescription or supervision. His cough is not repetitive. It's once or twice, then he's fine for hours. He's eating a little, but not normally, and drinking water.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 4 months ago.

Hello. Thanks for the question.

I would stop giving him grass. That can actually irritate the stomach and cause further vomiting. It can also irritate the esophagus and lead to gagging or coughing.

IF there are tapeworms, he'll need to be treated with Praziquantel. This is available through a vet or over the counter at many pet stores.

To help settle his stomach, you could go pick up some Pepcid (Famotidine). You can give 1/2 of a 10 mg tab every 12-24 hours. An alternative would be liquid Maalox or Mylanta- 1/2 teaspoon every 8-12 hours, as needed.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

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