This disease is caused by Dirofilaria immitis, a roundworm also known as the heartworm. The intensity of this cat disease is based on three factors:
- The response of the affected cat
- Infestation duration
- Quantity of worms
Outdoor cats are more prone to heartworm disease than indoor cats.
Signs Of Heartworm Disease
The common symptoms of heartworm diseases include
- Labored raspy
Other symptoms include vomiting and respiratory issues and further examination can reveal an irregular heart rhythm.
Causes Of Heartworm
They are transmitted through mosquito bites. In cats, the heartworms have a shorter lifecycle than in dogs. In dogs, they migrate via the bite injury until they reach blood vessels and heart.
The larvae later mature, reproduce, and later release microfilaria. The growth of microfilaria is uncommon in cats, and are seen only in 20 percent of affected cats. Due to its short lifespan in cats, the microfilaria will get cured on its own in most cases in cats.
How To Diagnose Heartworm Disease In Cats?
A series of tests are actually performed to identify heartworm disease in cats-
- Electrocardiograph (ECG)
- Antibody tests
- Antigen test
Depending on the test result, the vet will decide about the future course of action.
How To Treat Heartworm Disease In Cats?
At present, there is no adulticide treatment to destroy heartworms in cats. Removing the heartworms surgically is the best method. Various other medications are prescribed to treat signs as well.
Living with heartworm disease
After treatment, you should contact your vet for further follow-up tests.
How To Prevent Heartworm Disease?
These diseases are preventable and your vet will suggest certain medications for better and proper care.