There is a wide awakening among cat parents to protect their feline from heartworm disease. Heartworm cases in feline are also on the rise and are more reported than earlier owing to vet visits. Until now, most of the pet parents think of heartworm as a syndrome prevalent in dogs only. While, this thought does carry weight in the sense that compared to canine, a feline is less vulnerable to heartworm parasite. Her immune system is more adaptable to fight heartworm parasite-Dirofilaria immitis as compared to dog. A feline houses heartworm for not more than three years. On the other hand, this period extends to seven years in dog.
There is no denying the fact that heartworm is a disease, which troubles our furry pals the most. Yet there is equal truth in the fact that a feline needs to be, protected from heartworm to ensure complete overall well-being of hers. A cat parent cannot afford to neglect this aspect of her feline just by relying on the statistics, which makes the disease uncommon for cats.
Therefore, to neutralize the risk posed by heartworm in cats, prevention is the only best policy to keep this syndrome at bay from a feline’s life.
Cat Heartworm Basics
The parasite called Dirofilaria Immitis cause heartworm in cats as well as dogs. This happens when a mosquito infected by the same heartworm parasite-Dirofilaria immitis, bites a gullible cat and thus transmits the same infection to that cat’s body. The cycle continues when again a mosquito bites this infected cat and feed the same on another uninfected cat.
Now, the cat’s whose body is home to heartworm parasite, behaves in two way-
What To Do As A Cat Parent?
Above exchanged thoughts clears two things about heartworm in cats. One that the problem of heartworm in cats is less prevalent as compared to dog. At the same time, chances of heartworm in a feline cannot, be set aside. Secondly, the fatal nature of the disease makes it imperative for cat parents to take preventive measures for their cats to keep this syndrome away from their feline’s life.
The first thing in this regard, which a cat parent needs to do, is to go to his nearby vet to check for heartworm in his/her cat. The vet would diagnose the presence of heartworm in cat by conducting tests such as antibody and antigen tests. X-rays, ECG and urine analysis of the cat also help the vet to form conclusion on the presence of heartworm parasite in a cat.
If the cat found to be heartworm positive, the best method vets adopt is to give the infected cat some time to get rid of the heartworm on her own. During this time, the feline is required to be in touch with the vet at regular intervals. The reason for such practice adopted by the vet is due to the fact that heartworm parasite in a cat lives for not more than three years. Treatment in the form of surgery is also an option available for cat parents. However, that is less in practice.
As a cat parent the best way to deal with this menace is, to include some heartworm preventives in, your cat’s life. Products such as Senitel Spectrum or Advantage Multi are to name a few, which are part of heartworm prevention program in cats by most cat parents. Consult your vet for more details regarding cat supplies products and make your cat’s life heartworm proof.