It’s been a beautiful week out at the Country Cat Clinic. The flowers and trees are in bloom, the weather is warming, we’re seeing lots of blue sky. It’s a great time of year to take a stroll around the grounds at our quiet, country veterinary hospital.
However, springtime is also the time to become aware of the potential for parasites, particularly heartworm in your cat.
Cats are generally taken to the veterinarian less than dogs, and often owners assume if a cat stays indoors, they are safe from diseases such as heartworm. This is not the case.
Some Facts about Feline Heartworm Disease
- Heartworm is not just a canine disease. It also affects cats, and though the disease acts differently in cats than in dogs, it is equally serious.
- It only takes one mosquito to infect a cat, so even if your cat is an “indoor cat” it is still at risk and should receive a heartworm preventative. In fact, recent study in North Carolina found that 28% of cats diagnosed with heartworm were indoor cats.
- In cats, heartworm disease is a bit of a misnomer, as it affects the lungs and not only the heart. Signs of heartworm are often mistaken for feline asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems.
- In cats, the larvae (immature heartworms) are more problematic than adult heartworms, since they get into the small arteries supplying blood to the heart.
- Prevention is better than cure…it’s easy to prevent heartworm with a variety of available medications.
For more information about Heartworm, visit Know Heartworms. In the meantime, bring your cat in for an examination and a preventive prescription.