Tambi Renee: Keeping an Eye Out for Heartworms In Cats

22 Aug

Although heartworms were once thought of as an infection that only affected dogs, pet owners and vets are realizing more and more that heartworms are an issue for cats too. Tambi Renee, a cat-owner herself and a proponent of animal health and wellness, offers the following information about heartworm in cats so that cat lovers can watch out for the disease in their pets.

Why Catching Heartworm Early Is Important

Heartworm is a parasitic infection that can quickly become serious and lead to long-term and life threatening health consequences. The parasites invade the blood vessels of the heart and lungs and can cause significant respiratory distress in cats, as well as an immune response that is also potentially fatal. If not caught early, heartworm can quickly reach a point where it is no longer treatable.

Heartworm Symptoms to Watch Out For

In cats, heartworm can be fairly difficult to detect, which is one of the reasons why it was thought to only rarely affect felines for so long. However, with a close eye, it is possible to determine if your cat has heartworms. Serious symptoms to look out for include vomiting, coughing, difficulty breathing, disinterest in food, and depression and lethargy. Unfortunately, some cats may not exhibit symptoms at all, which is another reason why it is important to take your cat to the vet for regular wellness exams.

Treating Heartworm In Cats

If you discover that your cat has heartworm, it’s important to use a treatment option that is specifically designed for cats, as the medications made for dogs will not work and can even be harmful for cats. Take your cat to the vet immediately if you think that she might have contracted heartworm. Your vet can prescribe medication, such as a corticosteroid, or a heartworm-specific option to treat the disease.

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