American Association of Feline Practitioners

Veterinary professionals passionate about the care of cats

Modern Parasitology for the Cat

Modern Parasitology For The Cat: Fleas, Mites, and Worms, Oh My!


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This presentation will review the epidemiology, risk factors, and life cycle of Dirofilaria immitis infection in cats. A practical guide to disease management, including information on the immune response to infection, heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARDs), the acute death syndrome, the interpretation of diagnostic tests, the effect of heat treatment on D. immitis antigen test sensitivity, and American Heartworm Society-recommended treatment and disease prophylaxis protocols, will be presented. In addition, this presentation will cover the life cycle, epidemiology, and risk factors for common intestinal parasites and fleas of cats. Practical approaches to diagnosing, treating, and preventing these common parasites will be covered.

Webinar Objectives:

Feline Heartworm Disease

  • Understand the epidemiology, risk factors and life cycle of Dirofilaria immitis infection in cats.
  • Understand the immune response to infection, heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARDs), the acute death syndrome, the interpretation of diagnostic tests, the effect of heat treatment on D. immitis antigen test sensitivity, and American Heartworm Society-recommended treatment and disease prophylaxis protocols.

Feline Intestinal Parasites and Fleas

  • Understand how current diagnostics underestimate the true prevalence of intestinal parasites in cats.
  • Develop practice protocols that provide prevention to the most common parasites of cats.
  • Troubleshoot situations where clients are still seeing fleas despite therapy based on a firm understanding of the flea life cycle.


Speaker Bios

Annette Litster, BVSc PhD FANZCVSc (Feline Medicine), MMedSci (Clinical Epidemiology)
Specialist in Infectious Disease and Feline Medicine
CAD Veterinary Specialty Operations, Zoetis

Dr. Litster graduated as a veterinarian in 1982 and holds a PhD in Feline Heartworm Disease and a Master's degree in Clinical Epidemiology. She is a boarded specialist in Feline Medicine and worked in small animal general practice and specialist feline practice for 17 years. Dr. Litster is a popular speaker at major national meetings and over the past 2 years alone has spoken at NAVC, Western Veterinary Conference, AAHA, the national AVMA meeting, the ACVIM Forum, and many major regional AVMA and continuing education meetings.

In 2007, Dr. Litster came to the USA to take up a faculty position at Purdue University where she was a tenured Associate Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine. Dr Litster joined Zoetis in January 2014 as a Senior Veterinary Specialist with focus areas in infectious diseases, shelter medicine and feline medicine.

Chris Adolph, DVM, MS, DACVM (Parasitology)
Veterinary Specialist, Zoetis

Dr Adolph received his D.V.M. degree in 1996 from Oklahoma State University. After a year and a half as an associate veterinarian, Dr Adolph was a practice owner for 17 years. During his time as a practice owner, He developed a special interest in parasitology and practice management. In 2013, Dr. Adolph completed a Master's degree program at Oklahoma State University, while continuing to practice full time while enrolled in the graduate program, Dr. Adolph was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, which recognizes academic excellence in fields of higher education.

Dr. Adolph is a board member of both The National Center for Veterinary Parasitology and The American Heartworm Society. He has authored numerous, peer-reviewed scientific papers, a chapters for an upcoming text books and conducted research in canine and feline parasitic diseases. In 2015, Dr. Adolph passed the parasitology board exams and is now a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists.


RACE Credits 

This program 249-30493 is approved by the AAVSB RACE to offer a total of 1.00 CE Credits (1.00 max) being available to any one veterinarian: and/or 1.00 Veterinary Technician CE Credits (1.00 max). This RACE approval is for the subject matter categorie(s) of: Scientific using the delivery method(s) of: Non-Interactive-Distance. This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board's CE requirements.


Disclosure Statement

This webinar is sponsored by Zoetis. Speakers are expected to disclose conflict of interests whenever a conflict arises relating to the topics of this educational webinar.

Drs. Adolph and Litster are full-time employees of Zoetis.