Heartworm…Is your cat protected?
Heartworm is typically considered a dog disease, but did you know it affects cats too?
Anywhere dogs get heartworm, cats can too. Heartworm is very prevalent in Wisconsin! It is reported that there will be 10 positive cats for every 100 positive dogs. Cats are infected by mosquitos that can carry the heartworm larvae.
It is much more difficult to diagnose heartworm in cats than dogs. Signs of heartworm can be very subtle OR very dramatic. Symptoms may include coughing, asthma-like attacks, periodic vomiting, lack of appetite, or weight loss. Occasionally an affected cat may have difficulty walking, experience fainting or seizures, or suffer from fluid accumulation in the abdomen. Unfortunately, the first sign in some cases is sudden collapse of the cat, or sudden death.
Since there is no approved treatment for heartworm in cats, PREVENTION is the best medicine. Monthly preventatives, like topical Revolution or oral Heartgard are recommended. Even cats that do not experience the outdoors have a small risk if a mosquito carrying the larvae ventures in the home. Therefore, we recommend using a preventative regardless of “indoor” or “outdoor” status. The American Heartworm Society recommends that ALL cats be on year round heartworm prevention.
We are always happy to discuss what is best for your cat’s lifestyle! Please call, email, or bring your questions to your next appointment