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Heartworms In A Cat, Bj As His Story Begins.

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by Jcatbird, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Dec 5, 2017
    Southern U.S.
    Hello Everyone!
    I just thought that since I recently took on a kitty that had lived outside, it might be helpful to others to follow his story.
    I’ve found that many people don’t realize cats can get heartworms in the same way that dogs get them, through a mosquito bite. It only takes one. Kitties that live outside are at risk. Cats tend to get them less frequently than dogs but there is no cure for them if this happens. There are preventive medicines that you can give an outside cat. They should be given the prevetative. Also remember that an open widow with a hole in the screen can allow mosquitos inside.
    BJ was a cat that was rescued. He probably spent most of his life outside before coming to me. He was not neutered. Since coming into my home, he has been neutered and started on his immunization regimen. I just got the results on his blood work. As a very active male he contracted FIV. That is something that could still give him a normal life span if properly cared for. Today I got the rest of his results. He has heartworms. At this point the only treatment I have found for this if he develops issues is steroids for inflammation or oxygen therapy if he has trouble breathing.
    It is my understanding that the worms don’t survive well in the system of a cat. The cats systems fights them off but If they do reach the heart and die or survive, the cat can develop reactions to that. The lungs, organs and respiratory system can be affected as the dead worms break apart and block arteries or cause inflammation. Symptoms of the illness can vary from coughing, diarrhea, litter box issues, panting, asthma like symptoms, fainting and even sudden death.
    I encourage everyone to use preventative, keep cats indoors if possible and TNR any cats at risk. For me the R stands for re home whenever possible. Neutering and spaying will mean less kitties at risk for disease of any kind. Re homing gets them out of the mosquitos.
    BJ is an extraordinary cat. Of the many rescues I have been involved with, he stood out in the crowd. He was the defender of the colony and had acted as watchdog for me. He adjusted to being indoors and the other cats very well. He’s a true lover. Right now he is not showing symptoms of the heartworms. I’ll be following him closely and will post any changes I note in his condition. For now, I’ll make sure he gets nutritional food, is kept warm in Winter and cool in Summer, and gets all the love and attention he desires. He’ll be getting vegular vet checks and will be a strictly indoor kitty.
    Any area that has mosquitos can be a risk so please be aware and if you plan of traveling with your cat, make sure that if the area is a risk , you give your cat preventatives!

    I’d like you all to meet my sweet boy, BJ.
    He is a very large cat and he lived near a wetland area.
    C59F7CDF-BAB0-4E95-B4D9-B1377B25AE06.jpeg
    He was intimidating at first but...
    6DD356C8-F07F-42AA-95FE-15C6E57E0932.jpeg
    Is really just a big teddy bear.
    CC370FF8-32CF-4C83-853E-861B12A3E1E3.jpeg
    It became obvious that he desired affection, even if it came from a tree! Lol
    B9D5EFC1-9D15-431A-9D53-FCAA35E7C410.jpeg
    He soon indicated a desire for belly rubs.
    B67FC296-D826-4AB5-84D5-C1FA22A3E38A.jpeg
    Once inside he learned to love head scratches and
    6E4C16E5-6FBF-4D98-B822-C716B599EB84.jpeg
    He loves his Mom as much as she loves him.
    A37C9A81-C234-479E-92CC-76ECE8880377.jpeg
     
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  2. abyeb

    abyeb Charlie's Purrson Staff Member Forum Helper

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    BJ is very handsome and looks so sweet. I’m so sorry to hear that he has heartworm. :alright: I’m relieved to hear that he’s not showing any symptoms yet, and I hope that he continues to do well. :crossfingers:
     
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  3. sidneykitty

    sidneykitty TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Oh wow, he looks like he has such a personality!! what a special boy. :) He looks like a real love bug.

    Good for you for taking him in and looking after him and sharing your experience about heartworms. Sometimes I forget about heartworms, its a good reminder.

    I hope he continues to thrive and do well under your generous, loving care! What a lucky kitty.
     
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  4. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Southern U.S.
    Thank you @abyeb He is a tough kitty. I call him my Warrior cat. A defender of all.

    I welcome all others to post about any experiences that have had in relation to heartworms in cats.

    All information provided will help to educate and share knowledge with others.
     
    pashbrooke, Roufaa, basschick and 13 others purraised this.

  5. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Southern U.S.
    @sidneykitty Thank you. He has a huge heart so maybe that will carry him
    through. His spirit is bright and loving.

    I hope this will be a reminder to everyone. Most of us are used to hearing about heartworms in dogs but few realize that it effects cats too. I’m going to hold out on hope for him to get through it.
     
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  6. FeralHearts

    FeralHearts TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Thank you for posting about this @Jcatbird and XOXOXOXOX for BJ and you. I know what great hands he is in and how lucky he is that he has you for a Mom.
     

  7. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Dec 5, 2017
    Southern U.S.
    @FeralHearts Thank you. I am hoping that BJ can teach us all how to be Warriors through trying times. Either that, or to remember to laugh. Right now he’s reaching for the stars. 24B3E740-CD36-469E-BA25-19EDC630B5A2.jpeg
     

  8. rubysmama

    rubysmama Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    You already know how much I love BJ. :catrub:

    Sending more healing vibes that he stays healthy and strong.
    :vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:

    For anyone interested, TCS has a article on heartworms:
    Heartworm In Cats: An Owner's Guide
     

  9. CL56

    CL56 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Dec 27, 2017
    Florida

    Me too.
    I hate it, but I'll be following this thread.
    Sweet BJ.
    It just isn't right.
     
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  10. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    You tough fighter kitty, you're in the best hands possible :redheartpump::redheartpump:
     

  11. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Southern U.S.
    @rubysmama @CL56 @Furballsmom
    Thank you to all of you for supporting BJ. As I have written about him you probably know his beginnings were rough. He spent his time defending an entire colony of cats and kittens against animal predators and human ones. To me, he is a hero cat. He exhibited such brave behaviour and even though he went through so many terrible events he was willing to give me a chance to enter his world. I’ll never forget how he managed to trick the annoying buzzards into the cat trap. That taught them to stop stealing the cat food! They never did return!:flail:Of course for me, the trick was getting hissing buzzards out of the trap. My brilliant BJ never did get caught. He ate from traps (without tripping them) but when he entered my life, it was all his idea. He remained on guard until the very last member of his colony was safe before accepting help. I’ve known many amazing kitties but BJ is unique. I am so glad that I can offer him comfort now. It’s his turn to relax and be protected.
    He ate well today. He did have an embarassing round of gas. He claimed it wasn’t him. 0579793B-AB30-400C-8815-4FE0CC963824.jpeg
    I gave him some nice tummy rubs until he was comfortable again.
    2F6FCDFC-79F5-4333-8C8E-D61B899362C1.jpeg
    After that, things were looking up.
    DF297DEE-5BEB-4C75-9A86-60FB037BCB81.jpeg
    The patch of fur that is missing on his neck should grow back soon. It was shaved in order to draw blood samples.
     
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  12. abyeb

    abyeb Charlie's Purrson Staff Member Forum Helper

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    He has such big, sweet eyes! :heartshape:
     

  13. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Southern U.S.
    @abyeb BJ says to tell you, “Thank you!..... DB21E30A-9234-47EA-8DEF-04F1AB2C56EF.jpeg
    I’m going to blush now, so I’ll just hide behind Mom’s leg.” He’s such a silly boy too. ;)
    23B9F296-CEC8-40B8-9E9A-9F747F8F9DD6.jpeg
     
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  14. catsknowme

    catsknowme TCS Member Top Cat

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    Thank you for alerting us to heartworms in kitties! Poor BJ - I am lifting him up in prayers
     

  15. CL56

    CL56 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Florida
    I just love that cat.
     
    catsknowme, dustydiamond1, abyeb and 7 others purraised this.

  16. Lari

    Lari TCS Member Top Cat

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    I just adore BJ! :hearthrob:
     
    catsknowme, dustydiamond1, abyeb and 7 others purraised this.

  17. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Top Cat

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    There was this little piece of my heart left, hidden right behind the bit that belongs to Sweet Gum. @Jcatbird, you might look around and see if it's in BJ's bed.
     

  18. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Southern U.S.
    @Kflowers. It isn’t in his bed, he found it and.....it’s in his heart. He will wear it for strength along with his sweet gum hat. 19C3B12B-A029-40A5-A699-D430D5DF7055.jpeg
    Thank you for giving him that. :redheartpump::angel:
     
    Purr-fect, basschick, catsknowme and 10 others purraised this.

  19. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    :vibes::cloud9::redheartpump::redheartpump:
     

  20. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Dec 5, 2017
    Southern U.S.
    Just for informational purposes, Advantage muli and Revolution , which is applied behind the cats neck and usually associated with flea or tick prevention, also is a preventstive against heartworms. I know that applying this to feral cats may not be possible but there may be other forms of it that I am not aware of. Anyone with info, please provide it for others.
     
    basschick, catsknowme, dustydiamond1 and 9 others purraised this.

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