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Cats and Heartworm Disease

Posted In: Feline Health & Wellness

Did you know that cats are susceptible to heartworm disease? Heartworms are transmitted to cats through a bite from an infected mosquito. This is how dogs get heartworms too, but heartworms affect cats differently than they do dogs. It’s important for cat parents to understand the risk and know how to prevent their cat from becoming infected.

Unlike dogs, cats are not a great host for heartworms. Most heartworms don’t survive long enough in a cat to reach the adult stage, so cats may just have a few heartworms at a time. In dogs, heartworms reach adulthood, mate, and produce offspring, so dogs can have several hundred heartworms in their body.

Most heartworm disease goes undiagnosed in cats, but heartworms can cause severe respiratory issues for them. Even if heartworms are detected in a cat, the medication used to treat them in dogs, can’t be used for cats. Therefore, prevention is the only way to protect cats from heartworm disease.

Your veterinarian can discuss the heartworm prevention options to keep you cat safe and healthy. Give us a call to schedule an appointment!

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at two locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.