Buddy & Porky’s Pet Health: About Heartworm

Dear Porky and Buddy,

I read on the internet that heartworm in cats is becoming a problem all across the United States and that I should really consider putting my cats on a heartworm preventative. To be honest, I can just barely afford the heartworm preventative for my two dogs, much less my four cats? Is this really necessary. I have never heart of a cat having heartworm around here.


Dear Julie,

Thanks for an interesting and timely question.

First let us remind everyone that heartworm preventative is VERY IMPORTANT for dogs in our area and it is time to talk to your vet about getting your dogs tested if they have not been on preventative in the past and when to start using the mediation this year. Here at the Humane Society some of our foster dogs have heartworm when we take them in and it is a huge expense and worry for us as well as for their eventual adopters. Yes we know preventive medications are expensive, but it is critical basic care for your dog.

But for your cats, it’s a different story. It is true that cats in our area sometimes show signs of having been infected with heartworm, and so it is fine to use one of the heartworm preventatives on your cats if you want to take that precaution. But it is not as critically necessary as it is for dogs. The difference is that heartworm affects different species differently and cats are relatively resistant to the severe infestations that dogs are prone to. You need to talk to your own vet for recommendations about what to do and for advice on recognizing the symptoms of heartworm infestations in cats if you suspect something is wrong. But among all the things to potentially worry and fret about concerning your pets, heartworm in cats is probably not high on the list.

One thing you should worry and fret about is the problem of pets without homes. Help us solve that by adopting a pet from the Humane Society. We will be at the Hannibal Town Hall on Saturday, May 22nd to show off our pets for adoption and celebrate the United States Post Office Stamps to the Rescue adoption campaign from 11 to 2. Every pet adopted that day will receive an adoption certificate with an Adopt a Shelter Pet stamp with a special Hannibal, NY Adopt a Pat cancellation. Go to www.stampstotherescue.com to find our more about these great new 44¢ stamps and the adoption campaign.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter assistance, information and referral, adoption assistance to pet owners, humane education programs, foster care and adoption for pets in urgent need, assistance with lost and found pets. Our administrative offices and spay/neuter clinic are located at 265 West First Street, Oswego, New York. Check our web site at www.oswegohumane.org or call (315) 207-1070 for more information or to be placed on our mailing list for our newsletter