Feline heartworm disease is a relatively rare but complicated disease. Cats are not the target host for heartworms but can become infected from mosquito bites just like dogs. A multitude of problems exist in testing and treatment of heartworms in cats, but none of them are very reliable. To be extremely brief, the only option is prevention. We recommend monthly heartworm and flea prevention for all cats because of this. This is a complicated subject that should be discussed with your Veterinarian.
Cats are secretive creatures and prefer to be left alone when ill. Due to this fact, many patients are quite ill by the time the owner notices a problem. A physical exam by your Veterinarian can identify a lot of problems, but things can be deceiving. An estimated 70% of cats have kidney disease over 10 years of age. While I personally feel this may be a bit exaggerated in my experience, I do think this is a common problem. Changing a diet and managing problems associated with it, can prolong a cat’s quantity and quality of life. Most clinical signs associated with this disease only show in the late stages. Yearly bloodwork screening can test of diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, liver issues, etc. Bloodwork allows us to look at what is going on inside your pet and not just on the surface. Remember that yearly bloodwork allows us to look what may be abnormal or to see long term trends that may be progressing over time.
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