Annual vaccinations are important to prevent contagious and often fatal diseases. Likewise, we emphasize comprehensive annual examinations with blood and urine screening because they are the best way to predict or discover the early presence of disease and avoid emergency visits and greater expense in the long run. Annual testing for the dangerous and potentially fatal heartworm disease is a must and your pet should be tested for intestinal parasites at least once a year. Also, oral heartworm and intestinal parasite preventative medication should be given every 30 days while you would apply flea and tick external parasite medication monthly.
Feline Heartworm Respiratory Disease
Is feline heartworm disease really a problem for cats in northeast Indiana? In years past, many veterinarians would have been skeptical about the significance of feline heartworm disease. We now know feline heartworm disease affects a large percentage of cats and causes significant clinical lung disease (Feline Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease).
Because mosquitoes are able to enter homes, 25 to 30 percent of confirmed feline heartworm cases have been in indoor-only cats. The disease process occurs when heartworm larvae reach the blood vessels of the heart and are destroyed. This leads to a tremendous inflammatory response in the lung tissue causing clinical signs such as difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, and death. If the larvae are not destroyed in the heart's blood vessels, they there develop into mature heartworms and may cause chronic signs such as coughing, vomiting, difficulty breathing, weight loss, and loss of appetite. After one to two years, the adult heartworm dies and moves to the lungs causing a potentially fatal thromboembolic event (occluded blood vessel).
Prevention is the key. Revolution is a topical product that prevents heartworm disease, ear mites, fleas, roundworms, and hookworms. We also offer monthly oral preventatives for heartworm disease and select intestinal parasites. As there is not currently a cure for feline heartworm disease (Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease), we recommend monthly heartworm prevention for all cats.