Heartworm in Cats

Transdermal preventative

Centragard (eprinomectin and praziquantel transdermal solution) was approved by the FDA in April and is now on the market. This drug is used to prevent heartworm disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis, which is spread through the bite of mosquitoes. It is applied monthly. Centragard is also approved for the treatment and control of roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms in cats and kittens 7 weeks of age and older and weighing at least 1.8 lb.

The American Heartworm Society states that, “The cat is an atypical host for heartworms, and most worms in cats do not survive to the adult stage. Cats with adult heartworms typically have just one to three worms.”

However, due to the small size of a cat’s heart, one or two worms may cause heart problems and/or serious respiratory problems. Symptoms include coughing, lethargy, weight loss, poor coat condition, and bloody sputum. Treatment can be dangerous, so prevention is wise. Cats should be tested for heartworms (usually a blood test) before being placed on Centragard.