Prevention of Heartworm Disease in Cats


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Heartworm disease in cats is widespread and life threatening. There is no cure for heartworm disease, but there are four drugs approved by the FDA that can prevent heartworm disease in cats.

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Prevention of Heartworm Disease in Cats

  1. 1. PREVENTION OF HEARTWORM DISEASE IN CATS Written by Mary AndersonReviewed by William Neumann DVM
  2. 2. Heartworm disease is life threatening for cats.• Heartworm disease is • This transmission has to transmitted by infected happen through the mosquitoes that bite the mosquito to the cat, not cat and inject the larvae of from cat to cat. the heartworm parasite. • There is no treatment approved by the FDA in• In the cat, these larvae the United States to treat mature into heartworms heartworm disease in cats. in about 6 months. The worms infect the blood • The only therapy is vessels of the lungs and supportive, in an attempt heart, causing damage. to help the cat survive the disease which lasts 2 to 3 years.
  3. 3. Heartworm medication can prevent the disease in cats.• The FDA has approved 4 • Topical medications have treatments to prevent the advantage of heartworm disease in protecting against many cats. other parasites other than just heartworms.• Heartguard® for Cats, an oral tablet by Merial.• Interceptor®, an oral • Also topicals can be easier tablet by Novartis. to administer than tablets.• Revolution®, a topical by Pfizer.• Advantage Multi for Cats, a topical by Bayer.
  4. 4. Heartworm medication should be given year round. These 4 treatments do not  Ideally heartworm prevent the infection of the prevention should be cat by the larvae from given all year, since the mosquitoes. success of the medication depends on killing the The treatments kill the larvae at a particular part larvae in the cat when they of its life cycle. are in a particular part of their 6 month life cycle, before they mature into • Since these medications heartworms. are given frequently, the administration should be as easy as possible.
  5. 5. How to give oral heartworm tablets to cats.• The tablets need to be • Usually reducing the given with food so they amount of food at that can be absorbed and meal and making sure the ideally they should be cat is hungry will let the chewed up. tablet be eaten without being noticed.• The medication can be divided into 4 pieces and • If the cat would vomit the mixed in with food. meal, contact your vet for instructions on when to give the cat another dose of heartworm prevention.
  6. 6. How to give topical heartworm medication to cats.• The topical medications • The medication is placed are placed behind the behind the neck so the cat neck. This requires cannot groom the area. pushing back the fur and squeezing out the liquid • If you have multiple cats, directly onto the skin. the cat getting the treatment must be• The manufacturers isolated from the other recommend not getting cats for 2 hours. This the liquid on your hands prevents them from or touching the cat for 2 grooming each other. hours.
  7. 7. Protect your cats!• The 4 heartworm • Heartworm disease in medications each use cats is widespread, a different chemical life threatening, and to kill the heartworm preventable. larvae.• As a result, in the few cases where a cat has • Please protect your a negative reaction to precious companions! a chemical, they still might successfully take one of the other 3 medications.