Indoor and Outdoor Cats Get Heartworms

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Karlene Turkington’s article in the May 3 Observer gave a lot of great information about heartworm disease in dogs.

However, a lot of cat owners are of the notion their pets are safe from the ravages of heartworm disease. Most definitely, they are not, as I found out, to my shock, when our very protected indoor cat was x-rayed for another problem. The veterinarian showed me the x-ray, with the damaged pulmonary artery clearly visible, a frequent symptom of the presence, at one time or another, of heartworm blockage. I was advised there is no treatment, as there is in dogs. I was told the greatest risk for a cat is when the worm dies, and begins to decay, an allergic response can cause sudden death. While our cat survived the one-year death watch, it was a scary time, and we learned our lesson.

There are medications which can prevent heartworm in cats, and ours received hers the remaining years of her life.

– Margaret Worthington

Opelika, Ala.

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