April is Heartworm Awareness Month! Heartworms can infect cats and dogs, and are transmitted by mosquito bites. The heartworm can grow as large as a string and lives in the chambers of the heart and outflow to the lungs. Signs of heartworm infection include coughing, exercise intolerance, as well as sudden death. In cats, heartworms can sometimes migrate to weird places like the brain because they get "lost". Prevention of heartworms through monthly doses of either an oral tablet, chewable treat, or topical medication is best. We recommend yearly heartworm testing through a blood sample. If a pet misses a few months of heartworm prevention, retesting the blood prior to restarting the prevention is recommended. Prevent this deadly disease by administering heartworm prevention yearround!
The Companion Animal Parasite Council has wonderful information about many parasites that affect cats and dogs. For more information, go to : http://www.capcvet.org/capc-recommendations/canine-heartworm