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The most common health problems in kittens and young cats in Vietnam

Internal parasites (worms)

Roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, giardia, toxoplasma and many other nasty parasites most likely live in your kitten intestines. Their eggs are shed with stool. Every kitten needs to be dewormed several times. A stool examination under a microscope is also recommended.

External parasites

Ticks and especially fleas can live on your furry baby. Fleas can cause allergy, anemia, infect your kitten with tapeworm or even blood parasite.

Ear mites

Itchy ears, dark brown discharge means ear infection caused by ear mites Otodectes cynotis. Your veterinarian will examine an ear smear sample under the microscope to look for the mites. Treatment will require ear cleaning and ear drops for 2-4 weeks.


Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin caused by dermatophyte Microsporum canis. It causes hair loss, scaling, dry skin, itchiness. Untreated it can spread quickly all over the body. It’s a zoonosis – disease that can be spread to people. Be careful and wash your hands often.

Respiratory infection

Cat flu is a common problem in kittens, especially not properly vaccinated. If your kitten is sneezing or coughing, has the nasal or ocular discharge, difficulties breathing, it requires immediate veterinary attention. Untreated it can be life-threatening.
Purebred kittens and young cats often struggle with a chronic respiratory infection that requires diagnostics (like bacterial culture and sensitivity, thoracic X-ray) and treatment can be long term.

Diarrhea and vomiting

In kittens can be life-threatening and lead to severe dehydration. Always seek veterinary help in case of diarrhea or vomiting.
A common cause is a viral infection like feline parvovirus so always have your kitty tested. It can be caused by parasite infestation as well.


Feline Infectious Peritonitis is caused by feline coronavirus. It only affects small percentage of cat population but it’s fairly common in purebred young cats. The most common symptoms include lethargy, anorexia, difficulties breathing, distended abdomen (filled with fluid). The disease is always fatal and only palliative treatment can be provided.