Cats and Dogs Heartworms: What Are the Differences?

Cats and Dogs Heartworms: What Are the Differences?

We all know about the heartworms in pets but do you know that there is a vast difference in the heartworm in the dogs and the cats. Heartworms are a serious illness that can be fatal to your pets. Heartworms cause the condition that blocks the pulmonary artery and the right side of the heart due to which there is insufficient blood supply and the pet dies because of the heart failure.

Heartgard plus heartworm medicines are available in the market and also recommended by the veterinarians to prevent your pets from the heartworms. Prevention is better than cure and the prevention is inexpensive as compared to the treatment options.

Here we are having a brief note about the difference of the heartworms in cats and dogs.

Dogs: Dogs can get heartworm disease when an infected mosquito bites them and transfer the larvae L3 into the subcutaneous layer of the skin. Dogs that are exposed to the heartworm larvae get infected 100 percent. The heartworms in the dogs can live about 5-7 years and grows up to 12 inches.

Larvae when shifts towards the right side of the heart and sometimes to the lungs causes the inflammation that results into the blockage of the blood vessels especially the large ones like a pulmonary artery. The diseases can infect other organs like kidney, eyes and central nervous system. The disease when left untreated causes death due to heart failure in dogs.

Symptoms are subtle coughing, lethargy, weight loss and lack of appetite and as the seriousness of the disease increases the symptoms are more noticeable. There is FDA approved medication that helps in killing the heartworms in dogs. The best way to prevent dogs from the heartworms is the Heartgard medicines and the reducing exposure of the dog to the mosquitoes.

Cats: Cats get infected when the infected mosquito bites and transfers the larvae. The indoor cats can be infected because it only takes one mosquito to transmit the disease. But here there is less percentage as compare to dogs when we talk about the exposure. 75 percent of the cats exposed to the heartworm larvae become infected.

The heartworm in cats lives about 2-4 years and grows up to 8-9 inches. Here the parasites are less likely to live to adulthood. Even baby heartworms can cause serious illness to the respiratory system. The symptoms can be coughing, lethargy, respiratory distress. As the disease spreads the symptoms are more noticeable.

Unfortunately, there are no such FDA approved medicines to kill the heartworms. Here the prevention is the key. The percentage is less as compare to the dogs and you can ask your veterinarian to have the proper preventive measures.

These are the slight difference in the heartworms of the dogs and the cats. But the thing matter is the prevention and if you are the owner of the cats and dogs then it is your responsibility to make them free from heartworms. Care your pets and shower lots of love and affection.

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