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To determine prevalence of heartworm infection in a population of pet cats with cardiorespiratory abnormalities and to determine relative usefulness of clinical signs and tests in diagnosis of heartworm disease.


Prospective case series.


100 client-owned cats with clinical signs of cardiorespiratory abnormalities.


Cats were evaluated using CBC, modified Knott test, ELISA for serologic detection of heartworm antigen and antibodies to heartworms, thoracic radiography, and echocardiography. Cats were considered infected if they had circulating microfilaria, heartworm antigens in serum, or if heartworms were detected by echocardiography or on necropsy. Cats were considered suspicious for infection if they had 2 of the following: serum antibodies to heartworms, eosinophilia or basophilia, or indicative radiographic findings.


9 cats were infected with heartworms, resulting in a prevalence of 9%; 26 cats had evidence of heartworm exposure (ie, serum antibodies to heartworms). Twenty cats were considered suspicious for heartworm infection. Some outdoor exposure was reported twice as often in heartworm-infected cats, compared with noninfected and suspicious cats. However, a third of infected cats were reportedly housed totally indoors. Cough and dyspnea were strong indicators of heartworm disease. Eight of 9 infected cats had serum antibodies to heartworms and heartworm antigen in serum. Thoracic radiography and echocardiography indicated heartworm infection in 6 and 7 of the 9 cats, respectively.

Clinical Implications

Cough or dyspnea may indicate heartworm disease in cats; serologic tests, echocardiography, and radiography are most useful diagnostic procedures. Although living indoors is protective, it may not preclude heartworm infection in cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:517-520)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the effect of long-term administration of enalapril on renal function in dogs with severe, compensated mitral regurgitation.

Design—Randomized controlled trial.

Animals—139 dogs with mitral regurgitation but without overt signs of heart failure.

Procedure—Dogs were randomly assigned to be treated with enalapril (0.5 mg/kg [0.23 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h) or placebo, and serum creatinine and urea nitrogen concentrations were measured at regular intervals for up to 26 months.

Results—Adequate information on renal function was obtained from 132 dogs; follow-up time ranged from 0.5 to 26 months (median, 12 months). Mean serum creatinine and urea nitrogen concentrations were not significantly different between dogs receiving enalapril and dogs receiving the placebo at any time, nor were concentrations significantly different from baseline concentrations. Proportions of dogs that developed azotemia or that had a ≥ 35% increase in serum creatinine or urea nitrogen concentration were also not significantly different between groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that administration of enalapril for up to 2 years did not have any demonstrable adverse effects on renal function in dogs with severe, compensated mitral regurgitation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221: 654–658)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association