Heartworm in cats is a parasitic infestation that is transmitted to dogs, and more rarely in cats. This particular disease comes via bites from infected mosquitos. Furthermore, the heartworm is a possibly lethal health threat and every so often, needs prolonged, aggressive, and painful treatment. Furthermore, there are still no approved treatments for heartworm in cats. Give this article a read and get to learn more about it.
How are Heartworms Transmitted in Cats?
Aloft 30 species of mosquitoes may actually have the capacity to act as transmitters of cat heartworms. The mosquitos ingest the immature heartworm larvae or microfilariae. This is by way of feeding on either dogs or cats. Further, the microfilariae develop more for about 10-30 days in the gut of the mosquitos and then enters into the parts of its mouth.
When the mosquito that’s infected bites a dog or a cat, it will then inject the heartworm larvae into the pet. After which, the larvae will then migrate and mature over a several months period. This will eventually end up on the right side of the heart, as well as the pulmonary arteries. Once this happens, they will mature into adult heartworms, and may reproduce approximately 6 months from the invasion.
Roughly around eight months after the invasion, the heartworm on the cat’s heart will start to produce a new group of microfilariae, which will live in the blood of the cat for approximately one month. By the time this happens, most of the cats will start to show some symptoms of the cat heartworm. Further, the disease may start to become more fatal very quickly.
What Damage do These Heartworms Cause?
In cats, the heartworms cause more damage to the respiratory system, instead of the heart. the result of it, the condition that’s caused by the car heartworm infestation is often referred to as the HARD or Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease. Moreover, the immature worms get into the heart and then pass it into the blood vessels, which then goes into the lungs where most of the worms die and cause some local inflammation.
Detection of the Heartworms in Cats
Your veterinarian may perhaps perform one or more of the following diagnostics. This is in order to confirm the presence of the heartworm.
test to look for the traces of the presence of the worms.
- The antigen test detects the proteins on the blood coming from the blood, coming from the breakdown of the worm.
- A test detects the antibodies in the blood, which is formed by the immune system of the cat, in response to the infestation of heartworm.
- Echocardiography or heart ultrasound, which helps in looking for the adult heartworms in the heart.
- X-rays to see the distinguishing patterns of the heartworm disease in the heart and lungs.
Consult Your Vet
If you are not sure which treatments for heartworm in cats should you use, you must pay your vet a visit first. It is so important that you purchase the proper dosage for your cat, and that you only use the approved treatments for heartworm in cats, which is suitable for its age, health status, and weight. Furthermore, your vet will just give you a prescription for a preventive medication when the cat has no heartworms.
Treatments for Heartworm in Cats
This time, there is actually no approved heartworm medicines yet that are suitable for the treatment of the diseases in cats. It shows as tough the heartworms go away with no treatment in various cats. For the hapless cats that has heartworms, which don’t just go away, recurrent monitoring is needed. Furthermore, the prednisone is oftentimes recommended, and in austere cases, surgery might be an option in removing significant loads of worms.
The different heartworm medications usually involve a 2-step approach in the address of the parasite load. Furthermore, there may be some medication for killing the adult heartworms. As well as the medications for the elimination of microfilariae –microfilaricide. The microfilaricide is actually composed of the similar active ingredients in various suggested preventatives. Moreover, the adulticide is essentially an arsenic compound injection, which is administered by the vet.
Further, the hospitalization may be essentially needed for some of the stages of the treatment. In addition, your vet may likely suggest justly limited physical exercise and perhaps even heap rest for all or several treatment stages.
The main aim of the treatments for heartworm in cats is to control the severity of the damage to the respiratory system, as well as to prevent the continuation of the life cycle. Most of the vets will place the cat on anti-inflammatory doses of corticosteroids and a regular heartworm preventive medication.
Other Safety Tips for Cat Heartworm Medication
Here are some of the basic tips for cat heartworm medication:
- Ask your vet if your cat needs heartworm preventive medication all year long. This is essentially practical on warmer climates, where the mosquitos are always present.
- Don’t give your cat more than one heartworm preventive medication at a given time.
- Observe your cat for some side effects and call your vet and report if there are any problem.
- Read all the labels thoroughly before using any medications.
- Check with your vet for the proper dosage and the kind of medication to give your cat.
Always check on your vet for the best advices. After all, your cat’s health is at stake here.
If you want to know more facts about the symptoms of cat heartworm, check this article out: What Are The Symptoms Of Heartworm In Cats?
For the prevention for cat heartworm, read this article: Heartworm Prevention For Cats: Things You Need To Know About It