Can a cat catch heartworm disease from a dog?
Dr. Rapoport: Due to the required life cycle partially described above, heartworm disease cannot be spread directly from a dog to a cat (or vice versa or between members of the same species). Instead, as the main and preferred host for the heartworm, the dog serves as a reservoir for the worm. The mosquito, having acquired the earliest larval stage of the worm 10 to 14 days ago, delivers the infective stage of the worm to the cat (or another dog, or even the same dog). Care.com: What are the symptoms of heartworm disease in cats? Dr. Rapoport: There are many possible symptoms of heartworm disease, none of which are specific to this condition. These include (but are not limited to) coughing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, lethargy, weakness, weight loss, and, rarely, sudden death. Care.com: Is it treatable once a cat is infected? Dr. Rapoport: The medication used to kill heartworms and treat heartworm disease in dogs is, unfortunately, toxic to cats and so is not used for feline heartw