Does my feline friend need Heartworm prevention? This is a question we are asked every day by pet owners. We are often asked do I need to bring my cat to the vet? The short answer is YES, absolutely. Annual visits for your cat are crucial to ensure the health and well being of your kitty. Cats are excellent at hiding health issues until they are quite advanced. Regular nose to tail exams help catch any issues early when treatment is more effective and less costly.
But, Doc my cat is indoor only or only goes out if I am with her. Does she still need heartworm prevention? Yes! Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitos. Mosquitos bite an infected animal and then feed on another animal subsequently transmitting the parasite. Granted being indoors makes you less likely to be bitten by a mosquito, but mosquitos still make it indoors. They can slip in while we are coming in or leaving the home, a hole in a screen or a gap in a screen door. Even a single heartworm can kill an otherwise healthy cat. In addition, indoor only cats can get fleas or intestinal parasites from sources as a dog in the household or potting soil. Feline heartworm preventative also protects your cat from these things.
It’s cold in Chicago, the winter kills the mosquitos. False. Granted Chicago winters are not the best, but there are multiple species of mosquito that have evolved to live and even thrive in colder months. There have also been studies that show in urban environments mosquito populations are higher and can live through colder months. Studies site the increase temperature of urban settings due to population density and increase outdoor lighting when compared to more rural settings.
For these reasons we recommend Feline heartworm prevention. The preventative we recommend is Revolution. Revolution is a topical preventative that is applied monthly. In addition to heartworm prevention, revolution serves as a flea preventative, and intestinal dewormer.
Is there testing and treatment for Feline heartworm disease. There is testing available for feline heartworm disease, but it is typically only done if the disease is suspected. Clinical signs associated for feline heartworm disease can include coughing, lethargy, vomiting or sudden death. There is no treatment that is approved for the treatment of heartworm disease in cats. There are palliative options available, but heartworm is a chronic progressive, and ultimately fatal disease. Prevention is safe, economical, and easy to apply!