I’ll bet you’ve never heard of it, right? Well, sadly, heartworm disease, that has heretofore been found mostly in the mid west and east, has made it into Oregon. This often-fatal disease, spread by mosquitoes, is even more deadly in cats than in dogs. First, there is no treatment for it in cats, although some cats’ immune systems will kill it. Second, as with so many feline diseases, symptoms do not show themselves until the disease is quite advanced.
INDOOR CATS ARE AT RISK AS WELL! Mosquitoes enter our houses and can bite and infect your cat. Monthly heartworm preventatives are available from your veterinarian. The most common name is Revolution®, a topical treatment for fleas, ear mites, and other parasites.
Ask your veterinarian if heartworm preventative is prudent for you cat. He/she may recommend a test to determine if your cat is heartworm positive before recommending treatment. Once the cat is determined to be negative, the preventative agent can be begun and you can rest easy!
Laura Speirs, Feline Behavior Consultant