The parasites are generally noticed at necropsy as an incidental
finding. Similarly microfilariae are also observed during routine
screening of blood smears of felids having apparently normal health
in endemic areas.
In heavy infection of heartworm disease,
the pulmonary artery and vena cava may be occluded with parasites
causing mechanical obstruction, passive hyperaemia and occasional
The disease in the domestic cats is usually detected on necropsy
examination. The disease can also be diagnosed by examination of
blood smears and demonstration of characteristic microfilaria. Confirmative
diagnosis can be performed with the help of X-rays.
The heartworm disease in domestic cats should be differentiated
from Feline asthma and other pulmonary diseases.
In endemic areas of heartworm disease, Diethyl carbamazine
citrate (3mg/kg) may be tried after discussing with your
vet. The effectiveness of acetarasamide for adulticidal action and
levamisole and ivermectin (24 ug/kg) for antimicrobial
action is yet to be assessed perfectly.
Prevention and control
Apart from vigorous fly and lice control measures, periodic treatment
followed by serological monitoring and blood screening for microfilaria
will be helpful in controlling heartworm in domestic cats in endemic