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Radar and his evil heartworms

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Radar is a 4-year-old-male cat. When he was about 3 years old he started to lose tuffs of fur with skin attached and was becoming very lethargic.

After several tests, the vet diagnosed him with heartworms. This came as a shock since the only classic symptom of heartworms that Radar had was being suddenly lethargic. She explained the severity of feline heartworms and the treatment. It is very scary and I am still trying to come to terms with it.

Radar was put on ‘prednisolone’. His fur and his energy returned!!

Every time I try to wean him off the meds, his fur starts falling out again. The vet recommends me to increase his dose for a couple of weeks and then start weaning him off the pills…again.

This has been going on for 9 months and I can’t seem to get Radar off the pills without his fur falling out!

Radar doesn’t like his fur falling out…when you touch him anywhere near his ‘owie spots’ (as we affectionately call them) he licks his front paws and is obviously irritated.

I do not like him being on prednisolone. Long-term use has serious effects, one being an increase of appetite.

Radar is currently a 25-pound cat with bald spots and still on the prednisolone.

I am wondering if anyone else has dealt with feline heartworms and what the treatment/medication/side effects were.

I have done quite a bit of online research and I have not come across any correlation with fur loss and heartworms. Any response is appreciated.

Thank you in advance,
Radar’s human friend
post #2 of 7
I would suggest consulting with another vet ///
post #3 of 7
The only experience I have had with heartworms is in dogs and the symptoms and treatment for it in dogs is completely different from what your cat is experiencing. The treatment for it in dogs is also scary and sometimes fatal but it doesn't drag on for a long time and there is no weaning them off a medication.
post #4 of 7
and steroids are not the treatment either, I think you need a second opinion and fast
post #5 of 7
I am so sorry to hear about Radar.

I have had two kitties with heartworm, one did not survive the die off. The other is now clear and is 12 years old. They were indoor only cats and I lived in Minnesota at the time.

Hair falling out was not a symptom, coughing, lethargy and abnormal bloodwork. they had funny bilirubin and AST values but nothing that coincided with any liver disease. On a fluke, because the blood had been drawn and the vet was testing a dog, I asked to have my cats blood tested too. Low and behold a strong positive for a cat.

Prednolisone was NOT a treatment. There was no treatment, only revolution and hope they survived the die off.

If your kitty is reacting favorably to the Pred, I would say you are more likely looking at some type of autoimmune/allergy type illness and not heartworms.

I second and third everyone else's recommendation...time to seek out a new vet. Maybe an internal medicine specialist if you have one in your area.

Please keep us posted on how Radar is doing.
post #6 of 7
I don't know anything about heatworms in cats cause I've never dealt with it, but I do agree time to see another vet/specialitist as soon as possible!
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
i really appreciate everyone's input and concern about Radar's situation....it really does help.

Radar has an appointment with a different vet later this week.

i guess i just needed a little push...so, thanks for that little push!

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