Feline heartworm disease: A diagnostic dilemma

When using antigen and antibody tests, veterinarians need to be aware of their shortcomings

By Tom Nelson, DVM

Heartworm disease is an elusive diagnosis in feline patients. As such, a thorough understanding of the pathogenesis of feline heartworm disease (FHWD) is needed to interpret test results.

How heartworm disease differs in cats and dogs

Cats become infected with heartworms in much the same way as dogs. However, while cats are susceptible hosts, they differ significantly from dogs in the number of infective heartworm larvae that survive to adulthood.