Cat Heart Worm Disease – An Overview

August 30, 2011 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Diseases

Heartworm disease is more common in dogs than in cats but still it is extremely dangerous to the cats. The symptoms of cat heart worm disease may range from mild to severe. The disease will be fatal if cardiac and respiratory complications set in. The male cats are more prone to heart worm infestation than the female cats as they roam about more. The cats that spend their most of the time out doors and the cats that live in mosquito infested area are at high risk,

Life cycle of the parasite

Cat Heart worm is a parasite and the size of the same will not be more than a piece of spaghetti. This parasite can survive in the right side of the heart as well as the blood vessels. The adult worm produces young ones and keeps growing in size.

In cats, these heart worms can live for 2 years. These worms will b freely floating in the blood of the right ventricle of the heart. The pulmonary blood vessels are connected to the right ventricle of the heart and play a major role in the respiration. These parasites will disturb the function of the pulmonary blood vessels and as the result the oxygen supply will be reduced. This reduced level of oxygen will result in breathing difficulty.

If the number of worms is more they can even completely block the pulmonary blood vessel. The parasites can migrate into the other parts of the body thus disturbing their function too.



The symptoms of the cat heart worm infestation can be chronic or acute in nature. In acute condition there can be nervous or pulmonary problems. The cat may be coughing consistently all of a sudden. There can be vomiting and anorexia and the cat will lose weight gradually. The cat will be very weak and will have severe depression. The depression will be so severe that the cat will have sudden mood swings and in some worst case the cat may die all of a sudden.


In chronic cases, there can be pulmonary disorders of episodic nature. Gastrointestinal problems can also be noticed at times. There can also be congestive heart failure. The affected cats must be attended to as early as possible because the disease may take the life out of the cat. In case of breathing difficulty, the cat needs to be rushed to the nearby vet hospital.


The heart worm disease of cats can be diagnosed by heart worm antigen test, called as knotts test. This test will detect the specific protein released by the sexually mature female heart worm. The test is good but it may miss to detect the protein if only few female parasites are present. The affected cat’s blood is drawn and treated with few chemicals and the blood cells are broken and centrifuged. The sediment is examined for the presence of parasite particles and protein to confirm the heart worm infestation.


The treatment for this cat heart worm infestation is very controversial and hence the veterinarian should be approached for help if the symptoms suggest the cat heart worm infestation.

Cats Can Suffer With Diarrhea Too

December 11, 2008 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Health

You searched to find an article on cat loose stool, right?  You really want to read more about cat loose stool, right?  If you’re here on purpose,  great.  If you’d rather watch football and enjoy a sandwich, now is the time to leave.


We are a family of four humans, and a few extraneous animals.  Fortunately our fish do not present the same types of challenges that our furry pets do.  Of course, the fish aren’t as cuddly either.  I suppose it’s a fair trade.  Nobody notices fish loose stool.  Cat loose stool, and dog loose stool, is an entirely different, and far less pleasant, matter entirely. 


As a quick side note, I personally would rather watch football and enjoy a sandwich.  And maybe even wash it down with a beer or two. Unfortunately, the typical kid promise to take care of pets is ignored, or forgotten, in my house.  Our children, ages eight and five, are great at petting and playing.  They are also great at discovering, and often causing, problems with our pets.  They’re not so great at solving pet problems.  That’s where we (a euphemism for me all by myself) come in.  Cat loose stool is no exception to this well established rule. 


Speaking for myself, loose stool is usually an indication of a problem somewhere.  My brother in law points out that most of us take a quick peek at what we’ve left behind as a quick diagnostic of our own personal health.  Often, if we do see a problem, we can attribute it to some recent change in behavior. 


Are you still with me?  Still want to learn more about our experience with cat loose stool?  Of course you do.  Who wouldn’t? 


So, why should I care about cat loose stool?  Wouldn’t I be better off without that cat?  Hasn’t it caused me enough trouble already?  Think of the money I’d save without that little beast running around, between food and cat litter.  Then, think about how the kids would feel if something happened to Roary, especially if it was something that could be avoided. 


I turned to a friend of the family.  Sara works at a local animal shelter, and has seen dogs, cats, and the occasional ferret in much worse shape than Roary.  Apparently, Sara’s first step in any diagnosis is to check the litter box.  In this case, the evidence was, well, evident.  Did I mention cat loose stool? 


Sarah, bless her heart, did a quick diagnosis.  Overall, Roary was in good health.  While she performed the examination, she outlined that the most common cause of cat loose stool was a change in diet.  Just like me!  Were we feeding him anything different?  I wasn’t, of course, but what about the kids?  You’d think I would recognize the cause, after several other issues with Roary and feeding him things that he wasn’t really supposed to have.  Sure enough, when I confronted the kids, I confirmed that not only my daughter but my son too had been conducting “science experiments” on what Roary would eat and would not eat.   Cat loose stool problem solved,  a blow for science, to be sure.  Now, where’s that sandwich?