An important part of pet care is protecting your dog or cat from heartworm disease. While it’s true that heartworm disease affects dogs more than cats, it’s still a serious condition that can pose a threat to the lives of both indoor and outdoor cats.
Heartworms are parasites that live in a cat’s heart or pulmonary arteries. Cats are infected with heartworms by mosquitoes that have bitten other infected animals. The larvae travel from the mosquito through the cat’s bloodstream and into the cat’s heart, potentially causing heart failure if not properly treated. If you suspect your feline may be suffering from heartworm disease, it is important to take your pet to an animal hospital immediately.
Heartworms have several stages of infection and maturation. This means that your cat may not show symptoms until after he or she has been infected for a while. During the late stages of infection, your cat could show symptoms like coughing, lack of energy, weight loss, fainting, and diarrhea.
The biggest problem with heartworm disease in cats is the lack of treatment options. Unfortunately, there are no effective medications currently available. The medicines that can be used are risky and can take two years to cure a cat of heartworms. This is why taking preventative measures is so important.
Due to the difficulties in diagnosing and treating heartworm disease in cats, the most helpful step you can take in your cat’s health is prevention. There are preventative medications that are safe and effective, and they can be administered to cats as young as six weeks old. Ask your veterinarian about prevention options.
If you’re looking for a veterinarian in New York, visit Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital. Our vets and staff provide comprehensive and expert care for your pets. For more information on heartworm disease or to schedule an appointment for a checkup for your pet, call us at (917) 675-3708.