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Uh-Oh.... Mosquitoes!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I live in Texas, and it's that time of year again. The humidity is getting worse and so are the mosquitoes!

I have three indoor cats, and although they never go outside, sometimes as people are going in and out- as careful as we try to be- mosquitoes get inside the house. I have had three get inside the house within the past week. I know because I'm getting eaten up myself. i know that mosquitoes can contribute to cats getting heartworms.

(Also a ridiculous question, just in case anyone knows... if mosquitoes can give cats and dogs heartworms, why don't they cause it in people? I know, it sounds like something a five year old would ask, but it just popped in my head.)

What I want to know is how real is this threat? Listening to the commercials for heartworm meds can really get you scared. I don't like to overmedicate my cats, but I need to know if I should be giving them heartworm medicine just in case.
post #2 of 3
From what I remember, the vet told me that humans aren't a natural host for heartworms. Dogs are most commonly affected, but the incidence of heartworms in cats is about 10% of that in dogs. So if you live in an area with a lot of infected dogs (Texas definitely qualifies), it's a good idea to discuss heartworm prevention with your vet - he or she can discuss your cats' risk level & decide if heartworm prevention is appropriate for your cats.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
From one of the websites you sent....

"....Humans are an aberrant host for heartworms. Basically, what this means
is that the microfilaria (baby heartworms) are transferred to humans and
they try to follow their normal lifecycle but can't, because they are in the
wrong host. This does not prevent them from succeeding in making it
partway through their lifecycle, though. So instead of winding up in the heart
and pulmonary arteries and living several years, as occurs in dogs, the
heartworms usually end up as cysts in the lungs. These cysts look
pretty much like lung cancer on an X-ray and a number of humans have had
surgery to remove the cyst and/or lung lobes as the result of the resemblance.
In addition, on rare occasions, heartworms find another spot in the body
with oxygen levels and conditions that support their development and live
there for some time. In humans, a spot that has these conditions is the
interior of the eye. So heartworms are occasionally found inside the eye in

That is really interesting! I thought I was asking a stupid question....
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