Heartworm Signs in Cats, the Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

heartworm signs in cats

The heartworm signs in cats can actually be seen and diagnosed. In fact, heartworm is a fatal disease and it can infect many kinds of animals, including dogs and cats. Let’s discuss it further in the following explanation.


The main causes

For your information, this disease is caused by the parasite worms that live in the lungs and heart. This parasite is transmitted by mosquitos’ bite that carries the parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis. This parasite can infect the cat’s organs. Even though it can be prevented, there are so many cats diagnosed with this disease every year. Even though cats are known to be immune to this parasite, if their body fails to fight the infection, this disease can be very dangerous as it may lead to death.


The symptoms

The severity of symptoms depends on many factors, such as the number of worms that infected the cats, the duration, and also how the cat’s immune system responds to it. The common heartworm signs in cats are including severe vomit (sometimes with blood), coughing, rapid and short breathing, loss of appetite (that causes weight loss), diarrhea, and seizures.

However, sometimes the cats do not show any kind of symptoms, and this condition will get more dangerous. If the disease becomes severe, it can cause the death. The worst thing is: unlike dog heartworm disease, heartworm in cats is untreatable and sometimes it is hard to diagnose. Up until now, there are no specific medications for this disease. Melarsomine, the medicine that’s usually given to kill the parasite worm in humans, turned out to be toxic for cats.

Whenever you see your cats show any symptoms, go to see a vet soon. Therefore, if they are diagnosed with heartworm infection, they can be monitored daily and get the right treatment as soon as possible. However, if your cats are in a good condition, their immune system will fight and this disease might resolve by itself. Furthermore, the vet will give periodic chest X-rays to see whether or not the disease infects the cat’s lungs or any of the blood vessels.


The prevention

For the heartworm prevention for cats, you should make sure to see the vet to check your cat’s condition periodically, at least once a year. Moreover, do not forget to get the periodic preventive medications, such as milbemycin, ivermectin, and selamectin to prevent any heartworm signs in cats.

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