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Q.    I have noticed some small white “grains of rice” in my cat’s faeces.  What is this and should he be treated for it?

A.    This is almost certainly a case of tapeworm.  The white “grains of rice” are segments of tapeworm, which are usually found in the faeces of an infected animal.  Interestingly,  the most common type of tapeworm that affects cats is often transmitted by fleas. The flea-larvae eat the tapeworm eggs and if the cat accidentally swallows an adult flea during grooming, a new tapeworm forms inside of the cat. 

Treatment of tapeworm is simple and involves flea control and worming.  Your vet will be able to advise you on suitable flea prevention and worming programme for your cat and prescribe an appropriate treatment.

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