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Posted on 08-17-2016

Feline Heartworm Disease: The Silent Killer

   Heartworm Disease is not just a canine disease, it can infect your cat as well. Heartworm affects cats differently than dogs but is equally as serious. The name “heartworm disease” is a misnomer as the disease affects the lungs and the heart and is often mistaken for feline asthma, or other respiratory diseases. Cats infected with heartworms may die suddenly and many others may die over the next two years due to the damage caused to the lungs and surrounding blood vessels. There are no clear symptoms of heartworms other than a chronic cough or collapse and sudden death.  Blood tests, chest X-rays and ultrasound examinations may detect the disease but unlike dogs, there is no effective treatment for cats.

Many people believe that since heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, indoor only cats are not at risk. This simply isn’t true. Indoor cats are at risk, too. Mosquitoes can enter your home when doors and windows are opened, or can come in on your clothing. Remember, it only takes one bite to potentially infect your cat.

 Heartworm has been diagnosed in all 50 states. However, the majority of cases of heartworm are found in warmer climates, like South Carolina.

The good news is that this is a very preventable disease. All it takes is a prescription monthly heartworm preventative. We would be happy to assist you in finding the right heartworm prevention to keep your cat happy and healthy. 

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