Preventive Care

Parasite Control

Parasite Prevention and Control
Parasites can be real pests. Both external (fleas, ticks) and internal (heartworm, hookworm, roundworm) parasites can cause problems for your cat and your family. Prevention is the best approach to eliminating these pests. At VCA Cat Hospital of Chicago, we carry products to protect against fleas, ticks, heartworms, and other parasites like intestinal roundworms, tapeworms, and ear and skin mites.

Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Although it more commonly affects dogs, cats are still at risk. In the U.S., Heartworm disease is most common along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from the Gulf of Mexico to New Jersey and along the Mississippi River and its major tributaries. Chicago is a heartworm endemic area.

Clinical symptoms of heartworm disease develop slowly, and they can be either subtle or dramatic. Symptoms may include asthma-like attacks, coughing, lack of appetite, periodic vomiting, or weight loss. Difficulty walking, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, or fainting or seizures are rare symptoms. Too often, the first sign cat owners recognize is when their feline suddenly collapses.

Heartworm disease prevention is simple and effective. Cats can be protected by applying a drop of heartworm prevention liquid to the skin once a month, or by eating a palatable heartworm chew monthly. Since heartworm disease is difficult to diagnose and there is no effective treatment, prevention is key.

If you would like to have your pet tested for heartworm disease, or if you would like additional information on how best to protect your cat from this dangerous parasite, please call VCA Cat Hospital of Chicago today for an appointment.