It has been known for many years that cats and other animals can be infected with heartworm. Recent research has revealed some new facts about feline heartworm disease.
Heart disease facts
- the prevalence of heartworm infection in cats is higher than previously thought
- wherever dogs are at risk from heartworm, so too are cats
- as few as two heartworms can prove fatal in cats, often with no warning signs – the small heart size in cats cannot cope with the infection
- feline heartworm disease is harder to diagnose and much harder to treat than in dogs – there is no treatment to clear the worms from the heart – only the side effects can be controlled if the disease is not too advanced
Prevention of heartworm is the only way to protect your cat from the effects. There are a number of over the counter and veterinary preventative treatments available.
In cats there are two main ways to prevent heartworm: oral tablets, or topical treatments applied on the skin at the back of the neck. Some of these products will also control fleas, intestinal worms ), and ear mites. This makes it an efficient and easy way to prevent multiple parasites at once.
Heartworm prevention is now recommended for all cats, especially where there are mosquitoes. It can be challenging to diagnose heartworm in cats, hence prevention is better than treatment, If you would like to start your cat on heartworm prevention, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local Greencross Vets.