Cat Heartworm is a filamentous parasite parasitic in the blood circulation. Cats are infected by the bite of mosquitoes containing heartworm larvae, which reach the heart and large blood vessels through subcutaneous lymph or blood circulation, where it will develops into an imago. Mother cats may also transmit heartworm larvae to the fetus through the placenta. In summer, cats are the most prone to heartworm.

Cat Heartworm Infection

Heartworm is a filamentous parasite that can parasitize the heart and large blood vessels. Dogs and cats can be infected, but cats are more resistant to heartworm infections. In the process of heartworm infection, mosquitoes play an important role and are the intermediate host of heartworms, meaning that heartworms must spend time in the mosquitoes in order to successfully develop into infectious larvae (Phase III larvae), then when mosquitoes bite the cat, they will infect the caterpillar larvae into the cat body, and the larvae (Phase III larvae) will begin to wander for up to eight months. Such wandering is migrating and developing between cat tissues. After heartworm has reached maturity, it will begin to migrate and settle to the heart and pulmonary arteries. At this time, sexually mature male and female worms will mate and many larvae (first stage larvae) are born, and these larvae (first stage larvae) will circulate with the blood to the surrounding skin and blood vessels. Once a mosquito bites, the larvae will smoothly enter the mosquito body development, it will grow into infective larvae (third stage larvae) after about 2-3 weeks, so the caterpillar larvae (first stage larvae) produced by the cat will not be directly in the cat body to develop into an adult, it must develop in the mosquito for a period of time to continue its life history.

Symptoms of Cat Heartworm

Cat Heartworm are serious and potentially fatal diseases for dogs and cats. They are also infected with the same heartworm through mosquito bites. The third stage of larvae enter the animals through mosquito bites. About 40%-90% The third stage of larvae can develop into adult worms in dogs, and cats are less than 25%, and the number of adult infections of cats will be much lower than that of dogs, usually less than six, and the size of adult worms will also be larger than that of dogs. Small, the life span of adult cats in cats is about 2-3 years, which is also much lower than the 5-7 years of dogs. These differences may indicate that the cat’s body is not the ideal parasitic environment for heartworm.

Once cat infected with heartworm larva, it takes about 8 months to develop into a mature female worm and start mating to breed offspring, while dogs need about 6-7 months, as mentioned earlier. The young silk fins run to the surrounding blood vessels, increasing the chance of being sucked by mosquitoes, but for cat heartworms, less than 20% of infected cats will have young silkworms in the peripheral blood circulation, so cats are Insects are not good insect-preserving animals. Cat heartworm infections do not have specific symptoms and are easily confused with other diseases. It is almost impossible to diagnose heartworm infections by clinical symptoms alone. Most infected cats do not have any symptoms. Clinical symptoms, but may show some chronic clinical symptoms, including: intermittent vomiting, coughing, wheezing (intermittent dyspnea, wheezing, open mouth breathing), nausea, fast breathing, lethargy, anorexia, or weightlessness; of course Some cats may also show acute clinical symptoms, depending on which organs the adult worm is causing, such as: weakness, difficulty breathing, cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, blindness, tachycardia, syncope, or sudden death.

Prevention of Cat Heartworm

Deworming: Regularly deworming cats in vivo and in vitro, especially in spring and summer.

Anti-mosquito: During the season when there are many mosquitoes, keep your cat indoors, do not go out, do a good job in mosquito repelling.

Medication: Give cats medication protection against heartworm regularly.

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