Heartworm Disease in Cats is Incurable and Preventable

There are numerous chronic health conditions facing cats today. Most of them can be managed effectively with little impact on quality of life or longevity. But among the different types of potential health concerns, heartworm disease in cats stands alone. 

Spread by the bite of a single infected mosquito, a heartworm infection is fatal for felines. The good news is that year round adherence to your cat’s parasite prevention greatly reduces the risk.

The Straight Story

Cats are not the only pets that suffer from heartworm disease. Dogs and ferrets are good hosts to this parasite as well as various wildlife such as wolves, foxes, coyotes and sea lions.

Heartworm treatment for these other animals exists, but it is toxic in cats. That means that the only defense against heartworm disease in cats is complete prevention.

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Is Cat Parasite Prevention Really That Necessary in Winter?

Cat parasite prevention is a year-round commitment to pet health

The majority of our beautiful state enjoys a sub-tropical climate. We have hot, humid summers and super mild winters that enable residents to spend as much time outdoors as they like (or not!). What this means for cat parasite prevention is that our efforts to keep bugs at bay must be a year-round affair. Without a consistent approach to disease prevention, the cats we know and love could be at risk. Not on our watch!

Not Just a Nuisance

Bugs, particularly those that spread terrible diseases, aren’t just a nuisance. Responsible for infecting countless numbers of mammals every year, a single bite from a parasite can result in an unexpected fatality if preventive measures aren’t enforced on a year-round basis.

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The Heart Of The Matter: Cats and Heartworm Awareness

Here at Cat Care of Vinings, we often talk about heartworm disease with our clients–there are so many myths out there regarding its incidence, prevalence, and prevention. It sounds complicated, but it is actually very simple.

First things first, unless your furry kitty friend lives literally without ANY possible exposure to even one mosquito, your baby is at risk. Mosquitoes carry heartworm disease and pass it from dog to cat to cat to dog and so on. The best way to protect your cat or kitten is with year-round preventative measures EVEN when indoor-only.

Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states in cats, and risk factors are impossible to predict. The truth is that all cats are at risk, regardless of their life-style. Multiple variables, from climate variations to the presence of wildlife carriers, cause rates of infections to vary dramatically from year to year—even within communities. Nothing truly freezes or dies in the South East to end the life cycle of mosquitos and give us a well-deserved break!

Furthermore, heartworm disease in cats is NOT treatable, difficult to detect, life-threatening and very preventable. Signs of overt heartworm disease in our feline friends rarely manifests until very late; this makes a diagnosis difficult. This seems all “gloom and doom” but truly, the bottom line for cats and heartworm disease is prevention,  prevention, and more prevention!

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The Heart Of The Matter: Cats and Heartworm Awareness

Mosquitoes are a common problem that all areas in the Southeastern United States battle. Your kitty is a prime target for their feasting! Heartworm disease in cats is NOT treatable, difficult to detect, life-threatening and very preventable. Signs of heartworm in our feline friends can be misleading at best and make a diagnosis difficult. There are no approved treatments for cats who contract heartworm disease currently and none on the horizon.

So what is bottom line for cats and heartworm disease?

Prevention, Prevention, and more Prevention.  Continue…