Is that my calico angel Rosie sitting in the grass with a giant bowl of fruit? It sure is! At least I only posed her with one toxic fruit. How sweet of me. Do as I say, friends, not as I doodle. Grapes are toxic to cats and dogs, and doodled Rosie knows better than to pop one of those suckers in her mouth.
Happy Caturday to all!
Tip of the Day:
In dogs, the lifespan of a heartworm is longer, around five to seven years. This lifespan includes larvae entering the body after a mosquito bite, traveling to the heart, and then growing into mature, reproducing adults. Dogs are an optimal host for heartworms.
In cats, the heartworm lifespan is far shorter, often two to three years. What’s more, cats are not a prime host for heartworms, and a cat’s body itself often overcomes the heartworms, typically before they can even enter into adulthood. This is why far less adult heartworms are found in cats than are found in dogs. Even immature heartworms, which are typically what would circulate in the blood and be indicative of disease in a canine heartworm test, are often not found in the blood of cats. This is why cats are less commonly diagnosed with heartworm disease. Then again, though, it is not impossible for a cat to have heartworm disease, and in this case, heartworms cannot be killed as they can in dogs.
For cats, one of the only options for a cure is to have the heartworms surgically removed. This, of course, can be tricky and risky. Symptoms of the disease can also perhaps be controlled and the cat made comfortable with various medications and supportive treatments. Given that a cat might be able to outlive the heartworms, it is possible to treat the symptoms while the heartworms go through their cycle and ultimately die. As mentioned earlier, though, heartworms can live for two to three years in a cat, and there is still always the risk of pulmonary or cardiac failure while the heartworms remain.
With such limited treatment options for heartworms in cats, it is incredibly important to again note that the best option is to keep your cats on heartworm prevention. The risk of heartworm disease might seem small, but it is a risk nonetheless. And, just as always, it is better to be safe than sorry.
And, there is one last note for pup parents. Though there is a more successful heartworm treatment for dogs, heartworm disease can cause permanent damage. This can lead to lifelong issues, such as of the heart and lungs, even after the heartworms are eradicated. For this reason, heartworm prevention is of course also recommended for dogs.