Renal (Kidney) Parasites in Cats

Parasites That Infect the Kidneys in Cats

Renal parasites are worms that invade the urinary tract. Affected individuals usually have no clinical signs, especially with Capillaria species. Some pets may be extremely ill if they have associated kidney failure or severe infection.

There are several types of renal parasites that affect cats and dogs.

Capillaria plica

Dioctophyma renale

What to Watch For

Diagnosis of Feline Kidney Parasites

Diagnosis is often made by characteristic ova (eggs) in urine sediment. In case of Dioctophyma renale, diagnosis may occur with identification of adult worms upon surgical exploration, in the kidney and/or in the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity. In addition, other tests may include:

Treatment of Feline Kidney Parasites

Depending on the patient and parasite, recommended treatment options may vary.

Home Care and Prevention

Administer all medication and return for follow-up as directed by your veterinarian. Control is difficult as ova can live for years in the environment.

D. renale is a public health concern; human infection can occur by ingesting infective larvae via raw fish or frogs.

Proper sanitation is the key to preventing infection. Eliminate exposure to the intermediate hosts (earthworms, fish and frogs) and do not allow your pet to eat raw or improperly cooked fish.