Feline Heartworm Can Be Fatal

The Wild Side Column is usually dedicated to lighthearted
stories about owners and their pets. 
This particular story takes a more somber premise, about an owner named Fumiko
and her cat Chisai, that tragically passed away over night. 

Fumiko brought her beloved cat to the
hospital, and after it was confirmed that Chisai had passed, she eventually
allowed post mortem procedures to find the cause of this sudden death.  It was determined that a single heartworm was
wrapped around one of her heart valves, which led to heart failure. 

Fumiko was assured that her pet died quickly
and painlessly.  These heartworms are
transmitted by mosquitoes and can live up to eight years.  They are much more common in dogs, although
they do occur in cats as well.  Single
worms such as this case can be tolerated by dogs, but with cats the effects are
lung and kidney damage as well as sudden death.  

This is why dogs and cats should be given a monthly heartworm
preventative.   Hopefully Fumiko’s story
can spread the word and save the lives of other animals

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