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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Heartworm

I just got a call from my vet telling me that one of my cats tested positive for the heartworm antibody which means he has been exposed to heartworm. We are not in an area that sees a lot of heartworm infections. I took him in for his vaccines and rabies and mentioned inappropriate elimination and he had protein in his urine. We then got blood tests and this showed up. He is does go outdoors, but the vet said 11% of cats who test positive are indoor only. Am taking Lizzie and my other cat in today to get them tested. Lizzie tested negative when we got her, but I have not given her Sentinel routinely. Now I am freaking out!

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 11:43 AM
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Thinking positive thoughts for Lizzie's heartworm test! Please keep us posted.

Debbie and Riley
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Lizzie'sMom View Post
I just got a call from my vet telling me that one of my cats tested positive for the heartworm antibody which means he has been exposed to heartworm. We are not in an area that sees a lot of heartworm infections. I took him in for his vaccines and rabies and mentioned inappropriate elimination and he had protein in his urine. We then got blood tests and this showed up. He is does go outdoors, but the vet said 11% of cats who test positive are indoor only. Am taking Lizzie and my other cat in today to get them tested. Lizzie tested negative when we got her, but I have not given her Sentinel routinely. Now I am freaking out!
I'm sorry is heartworm really a worm in the heart?

Maddie at 5mo old
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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yes and no, the worm really lives in the pulmonary arteries and affects the lungs. They then travel to the right chamber of the heart. It does affect other organs if not treated. There is no treatment for cats-70% of them die when treated. The only way to get it is from a mosquito bite. And, get this, it has to be a mosquito that has fed on a dog (fox or coyote) that has heartworm. He has never been tested for heartworm, but has gotten Revolution regularly in the spring, summer, fall months and I slack off in the winter which is what I have done with Lizzie. It takes 6 months to show up. He is going in this afternoon for an antigen test which if there are 2 or more female worms actually living in him the test would be positive. Right now we know he has been exposed. The worms don't live as long in cats as dogs. The other cat is going in for the antigen test, too which has to be sent out and dogs they test right in the office. Not sure what exactly that test is-antibody or antigen. They cannot catch it from each other unless the same mosquito bit them all.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 02:56 PM
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yes and no, the worm really lives in the pulmonary arteries and affects the lungs. They then travel to the right chamber of the heart. It does affect other organs if not treated. There is no treatment for cats-70% of them die when treated. The only way to get it is from a mosquito bite. And, get this, it has to be a mosquito that has fed on a dog (fox or coyote) that has heartworm. He has never been tested for heartworm, but has gotten Revolution regularly in the spring, summer, fall months and I slack off in the winter which is what I have done with Lizzie. It takes 6 months to show up. He is going in this afternoon for an antigen test which if there are 2 or more female worms actually living in him the test would be positive. Right now we know he has been exposed. The worms don't live as long in cats as dogs. The other cat is going in for the antigen test, too which has to be sent out and dogs they test right in the office. Not sure what exactly that test is-antibody or antigen. They cannot catch it from each other unless the same mosquito bit them all.
Sounds like you have done everything to protect your cat. And that is good that it can not be passed on to your other animals. I will be praying that the antigen test shows up okay and that they do not find any female worms

Maddie at 5mo old
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