The following blog entries have been tagged "disease".
Ferrets have become common household pets in the United States, however ferret owners should be aware that although ferrets can make good pets, they can sometimes carry germs. Although rare, germs from ferrets can cause a variety of illnesses in people, ranging from minor skin infections to serious illnesses.
Cats can get heartworms after being bitten by an infected mosquito, although they are not as susceptible to infection as dogs. A cat is not a natural host of heartworms because the worms do not thrive as well inside a cat's body. Both indoor and outdoor cats are at risk for heartworm disease.
Heartworm disease is not contagious, meaning that a dog cannot catch the disease from being near an infected dog. Heartworm disease is only spread through the bite of a mosquito. When the infected mosquito bites another dog, the mosquito spreads the infective larvae to the dog through the bite wound. In the newly infected dog, it takes about 6 to 7 months for the infective larvae to mature into adult heartworms.
Heartworm Disease is 'a preventable disease, which is why it's so frustrating as a practitioner when you see a case,' says Melanie McLean, D.V.M., a veterinarian at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Treatment can be hard on animals, and McLean says 'it's much easier and healthier for the pet to prevent the disease in the first place.'
Heartworm disease due to Dirofilaria immitis continues to cause severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and death in pets, mainly dogs, cats, and ferrets in many parts of the world, even though safe, highly effective and convenient preventatives have been available for the past two decades.