Heartworm is a relatively common parasitic infection that affects cats and dogs alike. The potentially fatal condition is especially prevalent in cats that reside in locales with high mosquito populations. To keep your kitty safe, memorize all of the disease's key symptoms, from excessive coughing to dramatic weight loss.
Nasal Congestion and Sneezing
If your precious pet's nose seems to be all stuffed up, it could definitely be a result of heartworm disease. The condition is associated with lung damage and often brings upon uncomfortable respiratory symptoms that are similar to those of allergic bronchitis and asthma -- think nasal congestion, excessive sneezing, wheezing, panting, coughing and labored breathing.
Upon noticing telltale signs like sneezing and nasal congestion, identifying other typical feline heartworm symptoms may be very useful. The more you know about heartworm's effects, the easier it will be for you to spot the ailment in your little one, if necessary! Cats that have heartworm often exhibit a reduced appetite and, as a result, weight loss. If you notice that your usually gluttonous kitty all of a sudden couldn't care less about her food bowl, pay attention and take action.
Nausea and vomiting are also common possibilities for kitties with heartworms. If you notice that for no apparent reason, your suffering fluffball seems to be randomly throwing up left and right, investigate the situation without further ado.
In some cases, felines with heartworms exhibit absolutely no visible symptoms. Because of the hidden danger, it is important to regularly take your pet for veterinary examinations, with or without classic heartworm symptoms like sneezing and nasal congestion. If the infectious condition is ignored, it can bring upon very harmful consequences including collapse, blindness, seizures and even death. Don't take that chance. Take the risk of heartworms seriously, and make sure your cat receives regular and frequent veterinary attention.
Other Health Conditions
Nasal congestion and sneezing both can indicate many other health ailments in felines, as well. Never make quick assumptions about your kitty's health. Some medical conditions that are sometimes connected to congestion and sneezing are nasal tumors, allergies, feline herpes, dental disease, feline leukemia and acute congestive heart failure.