Henry, one of Dr. Robinson's
favorite family dogs


for Dogs         for Cats

We live in an area, El Dorado County, with a high rate of heartworm disease and, believe it or not, heartworm disease is completely preventable. Unfortunately, it can be difficult and expensive to treat in dogs.

Dogs can get heartworm disease through a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes carrying heartworm larvae can transmit them to your pet. The larvae enter the bite wound and move through your pet’s body. Adult worms live in the heart, lungs, and nearby blood vessels, where they can grow up to 12 inches long and reside for years.

Because the early stages of heartworm disease may show no symptoms whatsoever, Missouri Flat Pet Clinic recommends annual testing even for animals on monthly preventive medications.

Can Cats Get Heartworm?

You may have thought heartworm disease only affects dogs, and it’s true that the infection is less common in cats. The cat is not a natural host for the heartworm parasite, Dirofilaria immitis, and so the heartworm is not likely to complete its entire life cycle. That means that fewer and smaller worms survive, and many do not reach a cat’s heart. However, the worms that do survive—and the resulting immune reaction that the cat’s body sets up to kill the developing worms—can cause severe health problems.

How Can I Tell if My Cat Has Heartworm?

The following signs may indicate that your cat has been infected:

• Persistent cough
• Breathing difficulties (panting, wheezing, rapid or open-mouthed breathing)
• Depression
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Sporadic vomiting
• Lethargy

Read more about feline heartworm here

The Heartworm Society has everything you need to know about canine and feline heartworm.

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Missouri Flat Pet Clinic     4545 Missouri Flat Road     Placerville, CA 95667     530-622-8295

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