Heartworms, Tick Illnesses & Feline FIV/FeLV

posted: by: Deep Creek Veterinary Hospital Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

CANINE HEARTWORM DISEASE
Heartworm Disease develops when a dog is bitten by an infected mosquito. Adult Heartworms life in the right side of the heart and lung arteries and can reach 10-12 inches in length; left untreated heartworms can cause lung disease and heart failure. Heartworms are completely preventable with year round heartworm prevention medication. The medications are available in tablets, chewable tablets and injections, giving you many choices to choose what will work best for you and your pet.

SIGNS OF HEARTWORM DISEASE
  • Mild Persistent Cough
  • Unwillingness to Exercise
  • Tiredness after mild activity
  • Low appetite
  • Weight Loss
AS HEARTWORMS CONTINUE TO GROW, SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:
  • Swollen Belly
  • Labored Breathing
  • Pale gums
  • Dark-Red or Coffee colored urine
  • Unwillingness to Move
  • Death
PREVENTION IS THE KEY!! Be sure to have your pet tested before putting on preventive medications!

TICK RELATED ILLNESSES
Ehrlichia is transmitted by the Brown Dog Tick. Symptoms include loss of appetite, fever, joint pain, bloody noses & pale gums. If left untreated can cause blindness, autoimmune disease, bleeding complications and possibly death.

Lyme & Anaplasmosis are transmitted by the Deer Tick or Black Legged Tick. Your pet may have this infection but may not show any symptoms for a long time. Symptoms to watch for are: lameness, fever, swollen joints, kidney failure, loss of appetite or anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. If left untreated can cause permanently damaged joints, fatal kidney disease, clotting and neurological problems.

Tick Born Illness can be treated with antibiotics but cannot reverse damage already done once symptoms appear. Have your pet tested yearly to be certain they don't have these silent illnesses.
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FELINE DISEASES
FELINE HEARTWORMS
Feline Heartworms occur when a cat is bitten by an infected mosquito as well. The worms live in the lung arteries and the right side of the hearts. Infection from heartworms leads to severe lung disease and sudden death. A single heartworm in cats can be fatal. Indoor cats are also at risk due to the presence of mosquitos in the home.

SIGNS OF FELINE HEARTWORMS
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Blindness
  • Fainting
  • Collapse
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Weight Loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Anorexia (not eating)
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Sudden Death
Many signs of Heartworm Disease are often mistaken for feline asthma, bronchitis or other respiratory disease.

PREVENTION IS THE KEY! There is no treatment once your cat develops heartworms. Please have your cat tested and put on heartworm prevention!!

FeLV - Feline Leukemia Virus

All it takes to spread feline leukemia (FeLV) is contact with bodily fluids from an infected animal.  FeLV can be spread by nose to nose contact, wounds, social grooming, shared food & water bowls and shared litter boxes. FeLV virus attacks the immune system which prevents a cats' body from fighting disease and infections on their own.

FIV - Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
FIV is spread primarily through bite and fight wounds between cats. FIV attacks the immune systems as well, leaving cats vulnerable to disease and infections. Cats with FIV may also show signs of severe dental problems.

PREVENTION IS THE KEY! Have your pet immunized against these diseases.