Felines have undeniable personalities. Whether your cat is prone to ignoring you or is exceptionally touchy, you are the one person who is highly familiar with their regular behaviour. So when your cat starts to act strange, perhaps by being unusually irritable or abnormally listless, it should alert you to something being off with their health. Granted, numerous conditions could affect the overall character of your cat without them being a medical emergency. Nonetheless, in some cases, your cat could exhibit physical and behavioural changes when they have developed heartworm disease. Caused by heartworm parasites, this disease can lead to severe health degeneration if not caught early. Read on for symptoms that could potentially mean your cat has heartworm disease and needs to be rushed to the veterinary hospital.
Cats will gag or make choking sounds from time to time for various reasons, typically due to hairballs. However, if your cat is gagging more often than usual, it could be a symptom of heartworms. When your feline develops this disease, it causes their heart to become larger than normal. When their heart size is abnormal, this means that this organ is now exerting pressure on their oesophagus and this causes a choking sensation. Hence, your cat will develop unexplained gagging. It is best to go to a veterinary hospital as soon as possible since this issue will not resolve itself.
Diminished appetite and increased lethargy
The second symptom that could mean your cat has potentially developed heartworm disease is when they spontaneously lose their appetite. The longer the disease worsens unnoticed, the more the changes to their internal organs. As a result, they lose their appetite. Loss of appetite will result in subsequent changes in your cat. For starters, they will begin to lose weight at a rapid pace. Secondly, they will also become progressively listless. The lethargy can be attributed to the fact that they do not have enough energy from their diminished appetite as well as the gradual weakening of their immune system.
A swollen chest
The third symptom to be wary of that is indicative of the threat of heartworm disease is your cat's chest swelling. The bulge in their chest is accentuated since they are losing weight due to heartworm disease. In addition to this, the heartworm parasites cause fluid to accumulate, which also makes your cat's chest bulge abnormally. It is imperative to see a vet immediately before the disease causes further discomfort to your pet.
To learn more, contact a veterinary hospital in your area like Wakeley Veterinary Hospital.