Heartworm Testing for Cats
in Miami Dade & Surrounding Counties
- Heartworm Disease in Cats Is Caused by an Infestation of the Organism Dirofilaria Immitis, a Roundworm Commonly Referred to as the Heartworm.
- The Severity of Feline Heartworm Disease Is Dependent on the Number of Worms, the Duration of the Infestation, and How the Cat’s Body Responds.
- Heartworm Disease Is Less Common in Cats Than Dogs.
How Does a Cat Get Heartworm Disease?
Heartworms are spread to cats through mosquito bites. A mosquito can carry heartworm larvae that enter a cat’s body through the bite. The larvae then migrate through the body as they mature until they reach the heart and blood vessels of the lungs. While more than 90 percent of the infective larvae do NOT make it to adulthood, it is important to know that the worms do not need to reach adulthood to start affecting a cat’s health.
How Do You Prevent Heartworms in a Cat?
While heartworms are less common in cats than dogs, it is something that cat owners should be aware of. If your family’s and your cat’s lifestyles put your pet at risk, you should speak to your veterinarian. Ask us about prescribing safe feline heartworm prevention that comes in both topical treatments and chewable. These should be administered year-round to ensure your cat is protected against heartworm infection.
How Do We Test for Feline Heartworms?
There are several ways to test for feline heartworms, but unfortunately, none are 100% reliable, so we may use a combination of methods. These include:
- Clinical Signs (coughing, vomiting, shortness of breath)
- Blood Tests
Can Feline Heartworm Disease Be Treated?
Treating heartworm disease in cats is challenging. There is no approved drug for treating feline heartworms. The drug used for dogs can have serious side effects in cats, so that is not recommended. Many times, we recommend treating the symptoms of heartworm disease. When cats are in a crisis, they can be treated with oxygen and corticosteroids, and, if needed, drugs to remove fluid from the lungs. If the cat is stable, it can be treated with just corticosteroids. In the most severe situations, heartworms may need to be removed surgically by a specialist. We will discuss all options with you to ensure you have the information necessary to make the right decision for your cat. The best part is that we come to you so that you and your cat can both be as comfortable as possible.
How Do We Get in Touch?
The cat-focused professionals at Meows & Purrs Feline Hospital are looking forward to hearing from you. We are here to answer any questions you may have or schedule an appointment for your kitty. The best part is that, when you’re ready, WE WILL COME TO YOU! This is less stressful for your pet and saves time for your family. Just give our friendly, cat-loving team a call today at (305) 515-MEOW. We are here to help!