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HEARTWORMS IN CATS

 

Heartworms are being found more frequently in cats. Heartworms are less common in cats than in dogs, but cats can get them too. Affected cats usually have only a few of these worms in their heart, but because the cat’s heart is very small and the worms are quite large, even 1 or 2 worms can be fatal, therefore, Cat heartworm prevention is vital to your cats’ health.

 

 

Cat Heartworm Symptoms

 

Signs of heartworm disease in cats include chronic coughing, wheezing or vomiting and sudden collapse or death. Diagnosis is made based on clinical exam, laboratory, findings and x-rays. There is still no treatment for cats that have heartworm disease, so cat heartworm prevention is key!

Outdoor cats are most at risk, but interestingly enough a new study of feline heartworm disease in Texas and South Carolina showed that 36% of infected cats were kept totally indoors. Since it takes so few of the heartworm parasites to cause disease in cats, even the occasional mosquito finding its way into the home can carry more than enough heartworm larvae to be fatal.

 

Cat Heartworm Prevention

 

Luckily, cats can now be put on the once a month preventative medication during the mosquito season, just like dogs. Though effective preventative medications have been available for dogs for years, more than 1/3 of dogs in our area are not being protected. Many of them are harboring the heartworm parasite. Mosquitoes then carry the disease from infected dogs to other pets, and occasionally to people as well.

Heartgard© for cats is a chewable, good tasting tablet your cat should like. The price is quite reasonable, and the medication also helps prevent roundworms and hookworms – common intestinal parasites – as well.

Alternately, Revolution Plus is a topical product that can be applied once a month to the skin at the top of the neck. It will prevent heartworm, fleas, tickshookworms, roundworms, skin mites and ear mites. This is ideal for the indoor and outdoor cat.

 

 Heartworm Vaccinations for Cats

 

Cats are exposed to lots of other diseases, so you need to decide on a total health care package for any cat, especially one that goes outside. We recommend vaccination for Distemper, the upper respiratory diseases and Rabies for all cats, indoors or out. Feline Leukemia vaccination is also recommended. Cats going outdoors should also be protected against fleas and intestinal parasites as part of a regular health care program. If you have a cat who is special to you, you may want to start him or her on the new once a month preventative medication as well. It could save a life! Ask for medication at the front desk when you check out or contact us for more information.

About Brook-Falls
Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital and Exotic Care is dedicated to providing quality care to all companion pets and exotic animals. Brook-Falls is a Menomonee Falls, WI-based full-service veterinary hospital with an extensive range of comprehensive medical, dental, diagnostic, and surgical services to meet the varying needs of all patients. Brook-Falls Veterinary also offers informational and educational media and seminars for pet owners by way of blogs, digital TV series (Expert Veterinary Television), e-books, whitepapers, infographics, and more.
 
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