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What are signs of heartworms in cats

Cats are born with some heartworm, so your pet may have some heartworm at some point in its life. Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes. The larvae of the heartworm live in the tissues of the heart, lungs, and major blood vessels. If a mosquito bites a cat with heartworm, the larvae can move into the cat's blood. In the blood, they develop into adult worms that can live for up to two years.

Symptoms of heartworms in cats include:

Anemia (the cat's blood is not as rich in red blood cells as normal)

Fatigue and weakness

Heart murmurs

Swelling around the eyes and nose

Weight loss


How are heartworms diagnosed in cats?

Heartworm disease may be suspected by your veterinarian if there are any symptoms of heartworm disease. Your veterinarian will recommend a heartworm test to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other problems. Your veterinarian will do a complete physical examination and may recommend additional tests. These may include:

Complete blood count (CBC)

Chemistry profile



Fecal occult blood test

Your veterinarian may also recommend a diagnostic procedure to determine the number of adult worms in the cat's body.

How are heartworms treated in cats?

Treating heartworm disease in cats is similar to treating the disease in dogs. Your veterinarian will treat your cat with an FDA-approved heartworm medication and will treat your cat for other parasitic infections.

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