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Heartworm Disease in Cats

By: Dr. Arnold Plotnick

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Diagnosis

Making the diagnosis of heartworm disease in the cat is tricky. There are several tests that your veterinarian might want to run, such as:

  • Complete blood count and chemistry panel
  • Chest X-rays (radiographs)
  • Serum heartworm antibody test
  • Serum heartworm antigen test
  • Microfilaria test (looking for larva in the blood)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Angiography
  • Transtracheal wash

    Treatment

    Treatment of heartworm disease in cats is complicated. There are two options, basically:

  • Adulticide treatment (killing the worms in the heart and lungs)

  • Conservative treatment (i.e., intermittent corticosteroid therapy).

    Home Care and Prevention

    There is no specific home care other than to administer medications as prescribed.

    Milbemycin (Interceptor for Cats®),Ivermectin (Heartgard for Cats®)or Selamectin (Revolution® for Cats) are the most common drugs used to prevent heartworm disease in cats.


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