1. Dogs vs. Cats – Heartworm disease is not just a canine disease. Heartworms affect cats differently than dogs, but the disease they cause is equally serious.
2. Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats – It only takes one mosquito to infect a cat, and because mosquitoes can get indoors, both indoor and outdoor cats are at risk and should receive heartworm preventative. In a study, 28% of the cats diagnosed with heartworm were indoor-only cats.
3. It’s a heart disease – The name “heartworm disease” is a misnomer, as it mostly affects the lungs and not just the heart. Signs are often mistaken for feline asthma, allergic bronchitis or other respiratory diseases.
4. Adult Heartworms vs. Juvenile Heartworm – Cats do not need an adult heartworm to exhibit clinical signs; in fact, juvenile heartworm are a main cause of the problem. Studies show 50% of cats infected have significant disease of the small arteries supplying blood to the lungs.
5. Diagnosis – Diagnosis is difficult as negative tests do not rule out the disease. Positive tests, however, are significant. The American Heartworm Society provided us with this
information and want to alert cat parents to watch for symptoms that may indicate heartworm disease. If you notice any symptoms like coughing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, rapid heart rate, collapse or convulsions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.