I'm used to seeing roundworms come out of foster kittens' butts after they've been dewormed. i'm even used to lending a helping hand (with tissue of course) and pulling the worms out when they get stuck halfway and just dangle out. yes, fostering has given me quite a strong stomach and things like this don't usually phase me, but today, i literally came face to face with a worm I have never seen before. *shudder*
I was lounging around in bed with Fatfat and Sparks. They were both asleep, curled up around each other in their usual affectionate way. I leaned over to pet them and what did I see? A few white boogery-looking creatures squirming away in the fur around his butt and his tail. I picked them up off him with q-tips and put them on a piece of paper where they continued to squirm grossly. After I had them all I murdered them. When I checked under his tail, I saw the darn things wriggling out of his butt again!! oh horror of horrors!!! In all my years of fostering and pet ownership I have never ever seen such a thing and it had to happen in my bed!! I'll have to burn those sheets.
When I got over being disgusted I did some research. Turns out Sparks has tapeworm, also commonly known as rice worm because the worms look like grains of rice when they have died and dried up. They die soon after being expelled (thank god!!). There are two ways a cat can get tapeworm, by eating raw meat or fish, and by ingesting a flea that contains a tapeworm within its body. The flea would've been ingested during a normal self-grooming session. So, a cat with tapeworm will very likely have fleas as well. I am going to be deworming and defleaing everyone like crazyyyyyy tonight.
I would've taken some photos of Sparks' tapeworms to show you guys.. but I was too busy being disgusted.