Can Only Dogs Get Heartworm?

Heartworms spread through mosquitoes that have the larvae of the heartworms in them. All it takes is one bite and your pet’s health is under attack. Heartworm is a severe infection; your pet could die if it does not receive treatment. 


There are misconceptions that only dogs are susceptible to heartworm infection. It is simply not true; you should also keep a close eye on your cat and ferret. Heartworm infection can affect many pets and even humans, although it cannot crossover from animals to humans. 

The AHS recommends that you have year-round prevention of heartworm for dogs, cats, and ferrets. 



Cats and Heartworm



Cats are less at risk of heartworm infection than dogs but can still be infected. It is because cats are more resistant to the condition than dogs. This may be because heartworms in cats usually die before they reach maturity. 


It is an advantage for cats because there are no known drug therapies for heartworm. Because there are no known drug therapies, it is essential to take preventive measures for your cats.



Heartworm Can Affect Indoor Pets As Well



Many pet parents may assume that because their pet spends most of their time inside, they are safe. Infected mosquitoes can also get inside your house and infect your pet. About 25 percent of all cats diagnosed with heartworm are indoor pets. Also, even if your dog only goes out for bathroom breaks, you should get them preventive care. 



Heartworm May Be Transmitted at Any Time of the Year.



Even though mosquitoes thrive during the warmer seasons, they can become plenty at different times of the year. However, there are fewer mosquitoes in winter than in spring or summer. They begin to increase when the temperature reaches about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes the mosquitoes can start to become very active even in 40-degree weather. 


So, it is always best to stay ready than to be caught off guard. Some types of hibernating mosquitoes can appear in the warm spell of winter. Here is a fair warning: your pet may still contract the infection even though it is frosty.



Heartworm Can Occur in Dry Climates Too



There have been reports of heartworm disease in 50 states, which means that no weather is too extreme. While most mosquitoes like reproducing during the rainy season, others may reproduce in bushes, bird baths, and tires. Mosquitoes may also breed in swimming pools, ponds, and other types of standing water. 



Heartworm Prevention Is Not Expensive



Compared with the cost of treatment, preventing heartworm infection is quite affordable. You can spend a lot of money if your pet is diagnosed with heartworm. The costs will go to finding out what stage it is, hospitalization, treatment, and post-treatment. 



Pets Rarely Show Symptoms



Pets will rarely show symptoms of heartworm infection until it is in its advanced stages. The symptoms are usually very slight and would need a trained eye to detect. Cats would show signs of asthma early, while dogs may cough and be averse to exercise. Advanced heartworm causes sudden death to cats and severe heart damage to dogs.


For more on heartworms and pets, visit Brekke Veterinary at our office in Castle Pines or Castle Rock, Colorado. Call 303-474-4260 or 720-464-3525 to book an appointment today.

none 8:00am - 5:00pm 8:00am - 7:00pm 8:00am - 5:00pm 8:00am - 6:00pm 8:00am - 5:00pm Closed Closed veterinarian # # # 1176 Aloha St. Unit 100
Castle Rock, CO 80104 720-464-3525 720-790-5095 720-782-6144