"MaryL" -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote in message
> "22brix" > wrote in message
>> "MaryL" -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote in message
>> news:[email protected]
>>> Just a reminder: This is prime mosquito season, and cats *can* get
>>> heartworms (with deadly results). I live in East Texas, so my twosome
>>> get Heartgard all 12 months, whereas those in northern areas probably
>>> need it only for certain months of the year (ask your vet). I always
>>> use it on the first day of the month because that makes it easy for me
>>> to remember -- and is also the reason for this reminder. Many of you
>>> already use Heartgard, but I frequently meet people who have never heard
>>> of it or who think that only dogs can get heartworms. Heartworms are
>>> more common in dogs, but they are often even more disastrous in cats.
>>> Photos of Duffy and Holly: >'o'<
>>> Duffy: http://tinyurl.com/cslwf
>>> Holly: http://tinyurl.com/9t68o
>>> Duffy and Holly together: http://tinyurl.com/8b47e
>>> Recent pics: http://tinyurl.com/clal7
>> I totally agree--before I realized it was a problem in our area I had two
>> cats with heartworm. I'm in Northern California and since it's so dry
>> here in the summer you wouldn't think this would be an area that would
>> support that many mosquitoes. It's pretty mild and rainy here in winter
>> and we can see mosquitoes even in January if it's been warm.
>> Hailey survived with few symptoms after the initial episode where he
>> briefly lost consciousness. If I hadn't seen it happen I never would have
>> known he was sick. Sweet Sam had to be euthanized after a miserable,
>> horrible illness. Sam had would have difficulty breathing, my wonderful
>> vet would remove fluid from around his lungs but it would just come back
>> until he finally started coughing up blood. It can cause sudden death
>> with no prior symptoms. It's an awful disease and it's so easily
>> As far as I know there is not an effective treatment. Cats hearts and
>> blood vessels are so small that when the adult worms die they eventually
>> break up and can clog the blood vessels. When my first cat Hailey was
>> diagnosed the emergency vet (of course it's never my vet on in an
>> emergency!) said that there were studies at Davis University Vet School
>> (in Davis! CA) where they were doing open heart surgery and scooping out
>> the worms but only if the worms could be seen on the right side of the
>> heart. It was very risky.
>> I'll get off my soapbox now but it's something I feel very passionate
>> about after seeing what it could do to my own cat friends.
> Thanks for your report. That is painful even to read about, but you have
> done a great service because so few people realize how bad heartworm can
> be in cats.
Yeah, it was very painful. I felt so guilty about not using preventatives.
I'm a microbiologist in a local health department lab and I should have
known but these were indoor cats and I didn't realize we were in an endemic
area. It wasn't something that came up on my radar. We'd always given our
dog Heartgard but I really wasn't aware of how bad it could be for cats. I
also thought that if they were indoors they should be fine. According to my
vet the mosquitoes that carry heartworm do come into houses, even with
The sad thing with Sam was that he was a stray that we'd taken in (after the
neighbors decided they didn't want to feed the 10+ cats they'd been
feeding--they didn't even move, they just stopped feeding them). By that
time we'd gone through Hailey's illness and all my cats were on Heartgard.
We started him on Heartgard when we brought him in but I guess he'd already
been exposed. All cats are special but he was just a sweet, sweet cat and
he was young (maybe 3 years old). They loved him at the vet and cried just
as hard as I did when we finally had to euthanize him.
If my story will help any cat from getting this disease it'd be wonderful.