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Lung Fluke In Cats

Lung Fluke In Cats

What Is Lung Fluke In Cats?

Lung fluke is a parasitic infection caused by a flatworm that can affect cats, dogs, and other mammals.

The lung fluke, or Paragonimus Kellicotti, is a common cause of respiratory problems in cats in North America.

Lung fluke infection occurs when a cat eats infected freshwater snails or crayfish, which are the intermediate hosts of the lung fluke parasite.

Once inside the cat's body, the larvae migrate through the lungs and can cause a range of symptoms.

Clinical Signs Of Lung Fluke In Cats

The symptoms of lung fluke infection in cats can vary depending on the severity of the infection.

Some cats may not show any symptoms, while others may experience:

  • Coughing: Cats with lung fluke infection may have a persistent cough, which can be dry or productive
  • Difficulty breathing: The presence of flukes in the lungs can cause difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and wheezing
  • Weight loss: Infected cats may experience weight loss due to a decreased appetite or difficulty eating
  • Lethargy: Cats with lung fluke infection may seem lethargic or have a decreased energy level
  • Vomiting: Infected cats may vomit or have diarrhea
  • Fever: Some cats may develop a fever as their immune system responds to the infection
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Cough With Bloody Sputum
  • Blood Cough

Treatment Options For Lung Fluke In Cats

If your cat has been diagnosed with lung fluke infection, your veterinarian will prescribe medication to kill the parasite.

This typically involves a course of praziquantel, which is an antiparasitic medication that is effective against lung flukes.

Your veterinarian may also prescribe additional medications to manage symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

In addition to medication, supportive care may also be necessary to help your cat recover from a lung fluke infection.

This may include fluids to prevent dehydration, nutritional support to maintain a healthy weight, and oxygen therapy to help with breathing.

Home Remedies For Lung Fluke In Cats

While there are no home remedies for lung fluke infections in cats, there are steps you can take to support your cat's recovery and help prevent future infections.

These include:

  • Keeping your cat indoors: Keeping your cat indoors can help prevent exposure to infected intermediate hosts.
  • Feeding a healthy diet: Feeding your cat a healthy diet can help support their immune system and overall health.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups: Regular veterinary check-ups can help catch any health problems early, including lung fluke infections.
  • Avoiding raw or undercooked crayfish: If you live in an area where crayfish are common, avoid feeding them to your cat raw or undercooked.
  • Treating other pets: If you have other pets, such as dogs, that may be at risk of lung fluke infection, make sure they are also treated for parasites.

How To Prevent Lung Fluke In Cats?

Preventing lung fluke infection in cats involves minimizing exposure to infected intermediate hosts, such as freshwater snails and crayfish.

This can be achieved by keeping cats indoors and avoiding areas where infected intermediate hosts are present, such as streams, rivers, and wetlands.

If your cat does go outside, make sure to supervise them and keep them on a leash to prevent them from hunting or scavenging.

Affected Cat Breeds Of Lung Fluke

Lung fluke infection can occur in cats of any breed, age, or sex.

However, cats that are allowed to roam outdoors and hunt or scavenge are at higher risk of infection, as they may come into contact with infected intermediate hosts, such as freshwater snails and crayfish.

Causes For Lung Fluke In Cats


Lung fluke infection in cats is caused by the ingestion of freshwater snails or crayfish that are infected with the Paragonimus Kellicotti parasite.

The larvae of the parasite can live inside the snail or crayfish for several weeks before being released into the water.

Cats that hunt or scavenge in areas where infected intermediate hosts are present may be at risk of infection.

The parasite can also be transmitted through the ingestion of infected raw or undercooked crayfish, which are sometimes fed to cats as a treat.

When To See A Vet For Lung Fluke In Cats?

If you suspect that your cat may have a lung fluke infection, it's important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

Your veterinarian can perform diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of lung flukes and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Delaying treatment can result in the infection spreading to other organs, causing more serious health problems.

Food Suggestions For Lung Fluke In Cats

Feeding your cat a healthy, balanced diet can help support their immune system and overall health, which can make them less susceptible to lung fluke infection and other health problems.

It's important to avoid feeding your cat raw or undercooked crayfish or other seafood, as these may be infected with the lung fluke parasite.

Instead, opt for high-quality, commercially prepared cat food that meets your cat's nutritional needs.

Look for a food that contains high-quality protein sources, such as chicken, fish, or turkey, and is free from artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.

You can also speak to your veterinarian about recommending a specific diet for your cat based on their individual needs and health status.

In addition to feeding your cat a healthy diet, it's important to provide them with plenty of fresh, clean water to drink.

This can help keep their body hydrated and flush out any toxins or parasites that may be present.


Lung fluke infection is a serious health concern for cats, but it can be prevented and treated with appropriate care.

By following these tips and taking steps to minimize your cat's exposure to infected intermediate hosts, you can help protect your furry friend from this parasitic infection.

If you suspect that your cat may have a lung fluke infection, it's important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible to diagnose and treat the infection.

With proper care, most cats are able to recover from lung fluke infections and go on to live happy, healthy lives.

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