Feline Heartworm Treatment with Interceptor

Feline heartworm is caused when an infected mosquito carries the parasite's larvae and bites a cat. The mosquito's bite will enable the larvae to travel from the insect to the cat. This dangerous disease is becoming more common and is often treated and prevented with Interceptor.

Feline Heartworm Explained

After a mosquito transmits heartworm larvae to a cat, the parasite will take a trip through the cat's body. After about 4 months, the parasite will settle in a cat's lungs-in the arteries or blood vessels. When the heartworms are old enough, they will produce offspring within a cat. The microfilaria, heartworm larvae, will begin to travel around a cat's bloodstream, infecting the next mosquito that needs a snack. Thus, the cycle starts again.

Any cat can become infected with heartworms, but outdoor cats are more susceptible. The symptoms of a heartworm infection are very non-specific, so it can be hard to find the reason for a cat's illness. Symptoms associated with a heartworm infection include lack of appetite and energy, vomiting, weight loss, difficulty breathing or breathing abnormally, coughing, collapsing and diarrhea.

Diagnosing heartworm in a cat is difficult because it is hard to detect the parasite. Blood tests run can show false results. X-rays of a cat's lungs can make the lung appear like he has another condition. An echocardiograph could also be done, which may show some images of the heartworm larvae.

Feline Heartworm Treatment with Interceptor

Interceptor, once only approved for use in dogs, is now available for cats with heartworms. Unlike past heartworm products, Interceptor contains milbemycin oxime, an ingredient that is thought to only kill creatures without a vertebra. A young heartworm's nervous system is assaulted by this drug, and dies. Interceptor not only kills heartworms in cats, but can also prevent them.

Interceptor has been found safe to use on kittens as young as six weeks of age and has proven to be effective at controlling other parasitic infections. When used as a preventative tool, a cat can be given a chewable tablet once a month. It is recommended a pet begin taking Interceptor within one month of being exposed to a mosquito. The treatment should continue on a monthly basis until the mosquito season is over. The dosage of the drug is dependent upon the cat's age and weight. After a dose of the medicine is given, a pet owner needs to watch the cat to make sure the whole dose was ingested.

Cats should always be tested for a heartworm infection prior to starting an Interceptor treatment to see if he has any adult parasites living within his system. There is a chance that adult heartworms that are killed by the drug could release the toxins into feline's system. However, the manufacturer of Interceptor has not determined the safety of the drug in cats that are actively infected. One should always consult a veterinarian before giving a cat interceptor.

Removing heartworms from a cat can be very difficult, dangerous and expensive. It is only logical that one try prevent the parasitic infection with a medication like Interceptor.