Does your dog have heartworms or Dirofilaria immitis? There is a long list of complications that may occur as a result of heartworm disease or in the treatment thereof. New research has shown that a gram-negative intracellular bacterium by the name of Wolbachia may be responsible for many of these complications and side-effects.
Are there mosquitoes in your area? Have you ever been bitten by a mosquito? One mosquito bite and your cat can be affected by heartworm disease. It is just that easy for your cat to obtain this life-threatening infection. Fortunately, heartworm disease is completely preventable, yet less than 4% of the cats in the United States are given heartworm preventative on a regular basis.
Heartworms or Dirofilaria immitis are a spaghetti-type worm that develop in the heart and lungs of an infected host. The disease is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. Due to the insect vector, disease is more common in mild, moist climates. Mosquitos appear to infect ferrets with heartworms at a similar rate as seen in the dog.
10) Being unaware that cats and ferrets as well as dogs may become infected with heartworms.
9) Being in denial that there are mosquitos in your area.
8) Having a pet that refuses to take oral medication even if it is disguised as a treat.
7) Using a topical heartworm preventative and then bathing your pet frequently with harsh shampoos that strip the medication from the coat.
6) Skipping one or more doses of heartworm preventative.
Heartworms or Dirofilaria immitis are a spaghetti-type worm that will develop in the heart and lungs of an affected feline. Heartworm disease in cats was first reported in 1920’s both in Brazil and in the U.S. Domestic and exotic felines may all become infected. Heartworms affect male and female cats in equal numbers.
Currently there are two forms of heartworm preventative approved for use in the cat.
Currently all heartworm products for dogs are given on a monthly basis. These should only be given to dogs who have been tested for heartworms and found to be free of disease. The cost of testing is nominal and only requires taking a blood sample. Most veterinary clinics will conduct the test in a hospital laboratory and have the results 8 to 10 minutes later.
Heartworms can be a problem anywhere mosquitoes inhabit. This disease syndrome is especially prevalent in Florida and the other Gulf Coast States. Due to their mild climate, these states are pestered by mosquitoes year round.
Feline asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects one percent of all adult cats. It is characterized by recurrent and sudden attacks of dyspnea (difficult breathing), and is caused by a spasmodic contraction of the bronchi.
Symptoms you may notice include wheezing, labored breathing, coughing, and frantic attempts to obtain air. Cat coughing sounds more like a hairball being passed than a human cough. The disease can be caused by allergies, smoke, inhalation of small particles, or bacterial infections. Feline asthma is also a common side affect of heartworms.