Heartworm Disease in Cats: Prevention is Treatment

Commonly, we consider heartworm disease as one that only affects dogs, not cats. However, cats are at the same risk of contracting this serious disease. Just like dogs, cats can get heartworms when they are bitten by an infected mosquito.Cats that go outdoors are more likely to be exposed, however, a mosquito can easily get into the house and infect the cat. Different from dogs, most heartworm larvae in cats do not grow into adult worms, because the cat is not the ideal host. Yet, heartworm larvae can create permanent damage to the lungs and blood vessels, and affect the immune system. Adult worms take up residence within the heart, clogging blood vessels and interfering with the heart valves.

Signs & Symptoms

Cats infected with heartworm disease may show little to no symptoms or experience serious complications. Diagnosis can require an exam, blood tests, and X-rays to confirm infection. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Asthma-like attacks
  • Loss of appetite and/or weight loss
  • Fainting or seizures
  • Sudden collapse or death

Treatment and Prevention

Prevention equals the best medicine. Currently, no treatment or drug therapy exists for cats infected with heartworm disease. Heartworm preventative medications kill immature worms and keep new infections from developing if an infected mosquito bites your cat again. All heartworm medications require a prescription from your veterinarian, for the purpose of annual blood testing to be sure your cat is not infected. Preventative medications are highly effective, but cats may still become infected. Even with a single missed dose. Giving heartworm medication to infected cats may lead to serious reactions.

April represents National Heartworm Disease Awareness Month, but this disease does not follow a season. Because heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states, the American Heartworm Society recommends that you “think 12:” (1) get your pet tested every 12 months for heartworm and (2) give your pet heartworm preventive 12 months a year.

VetRxDirect has a variety of heartworm and parasite preventative treatments for cats. Because these require a prescription, choosing the right medication for your cat should be done with the help of your veterinarian to make sure they have the best protection.

Heartgard for Cats at VetRxDirectHeartgard for Cats

  • Kills heartworm larvae in cats
  • Eliminates adult and immature hookworms
  • Tasty chewable
  • Give once a month
  • Safe for cats six weeks and older

 

Revolution for Heartworm Disease Prevention at VetRxDirectRevolution for Cats

  • Kills fleas and controls flea infestations
  • Eliminates hookworm and roundworm
  • Prevents heartworm disease
  • Treats and controls ear mites
  • Convenient monthly topical treatment

 

Advantage Multi At VetRxDirectAdvantage Multi for Cats

  • Prevents heartworm disease
  • Kills fleas and controls flea infestation
  • Eliminates hookworms and roundworms
  • Treats and controls ear mites
  • Broad spectrum, monthly topical treatment

 

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