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Re: Vet news

Mosquitoes.  Thanks for your concern.  (and Slugger startles easily, not to worry)

I found this information below very informative, especially the part about indoor cats being more susceptible. 

"There are some differences between dogs and cats: #1 Usually the adult
heartworm does not give birth to microfilaria while in the cat (In other
words the cat must get heartworm from a mosquito that has fed from a dog
with heartworms - Wouldn't you know it!). #2 Cats are not as well
adapted to having heartworms in their bodies as dogs. For this reason
the cat body tries to wall off the heartworm as it is traveling through
the body as a molting larva. While their body tries to stop the foreign
heartworm they may form cysts in the brain, kidneys, liver, etc. This is
the reason that in a cat heartworms can cause many different disease
conditions other than just heart failure. We can see circling, seizures,
kidney and liver failure, lethargy or sudden unexplained death in the
cat with heartworms. In the dog it is generally a slow buildup of heart
failure. #3 Cats cannot be treated for heartworms. At the present time
there is no treatment for adult heartworms in the cat. The cat is
sensitive to drugs. If we use dog treatment protocols the cat tends to
throw blood clots which plug blood vessels and kill the patient. 70% of
cats treated die during treatment. So what do we do? As mentioned above,
cats are not as well adapted to heartworms as dogs. If you control the
symptoms of heartworms with differing medical treatments, the adult
heartworm will die off on its own in two or three years in the cat. We
must wait it out and control symptoms with drugs such as steroids,
antibiotics, etc. We can't treat so the answer is to prevent them from
ever getting in!

"Since treatment is risky or even fatal - Prevention is the best course
of action. If you are in an area with mosquitos your dogs and cats
should be taking heartworm preventative. All 50 states have heartworms!
The only place there aren't any mosquitos is high up in the mountains.

"Do indoor only pets need heartworm preventative? 
Actually, indoor only cats get heartworm disease more often than outdoor
cats. That's strange but consider this. Outdoor cats and dogs build up a
tiny amount of natural immunity by being exposed to heartworm
microfilara everyday. Indoor animals do not have any of this natural
immunity and in their case it only takes a single bite and they are
infected. There is no natural immunity to stop a larva as it enters the

"Signs of Heartworm Disease -
Cats - Any or in combination: Cough, vomiting, breathing difficulties, sluggishness, circling, sudden death. "

neIN, Zone 5

 -------------- Original message ----------------------
From: james singer <islandjim1@verizon.net>
> Poor baby. How do they get heartworm?
> Looks like I startled Slugger when I looked through the other pictures; 
> sorry.
> On Feb 27, 2006, at 12:57 PM, Kitty wrote:
> > I made an appointment with the vet for this Friday because Mick has 
> > lost
> > weight and has thrown up what looked like blood a few times. He very
> > accommodatingly urped on the linoleum yesterday rather than the carpet
> > so I scooped it into a jar and ran it over to the vet this morning
> > before work. He said "bring him in now."
> >
> >
> > He has heartworm in his intestinal tract. I vaccinate these cats for
> > everything possible but thought heartworm was a pretty slim chance.
> > Fortunately, I had misunderstood the vet in believing heartworm is 
> > fatal
> > for cats. He says it's fatal if they treat it; the treatment kills the
> > cat. Instead they have a different course available, though it still
> > sounds like "treatment" to me. He'll get a shot of corticasteroids each
> > month for several months and then every other month until the worms die
> > off. And then he should be back to normal. So in June they are all 
> > going
> > on a heartworm preventative.
> >
> >
> > Here's a picture of my Mick:
> >
> > http://hort.net/+137n
> >
> > --
> > Kitty
> > neIN, Zone 5
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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> >
> >
> Island Jim
> Southwest Florida
> 27.0 N, 82.4 W
> Hardiness Zone 10
> Heat Zone 10
> Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
> Maximum 100 F [38 C]
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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