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Re: Vet news

SO- how do you find out if you cat has heartworms, and can one cat pass 
it to another?


Kitty wrote:

>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; 
>>On Feb 27, 2006, at 12:57 PM, Kitty wrote:
>>>I made an appointment with the vet for this Friday because Mick has 
>>>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 
>>>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 
>>>on a heartworm preventative.
>>>Here's a picture of my Mick:
>>>neIN, Zone 5
>>>To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@hort.net with the
>>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]
>>To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@hort.net with the
>To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@hort.net with the

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