Heartworm Disease and Spring

Heartworm preventatives are important all year long, spring time brings an increase to the chances your pet will come into contact with the parasite.

Heartworms are a parasite that are contracted through being bit by a mosquito. The parasite attacks the vital organs, such as the heart, lungs, and associate blood vessels. Because these worms affect such crucial organs, if not caught early, heartworm disease is often times fatal. Don’t worry, you have options to help protect your pet from contracting them.

You should have your pet treated for heartworms before beginning any form of treatments. Heartworm treatment can be given in a  vaccine that is effective for up to 6 months, or in an oral dose (commonly chewable) monthly. Some of these heartworm preventatives can also guard your pet from other parasites.

Early symptoms of heartworm in dogs include coughing and respiratory issues. Heartworm in cats is much harder to detect as they are less common to have worms reach adulthood. Prevention for your feline friends however is critical, as there is no approved treatment.

If you feel your pet has been bitten, and you begin to notice a change in behavior you should contact your vet immediately. Take notes of what your pet is doing, and discus the concerns in depth during your appointment. If your pet tests positive, a plan fit just for you and your pet’s lifestyle will be created. Early detection is key in treating the parasite infestation.

To talk about which method of prevention is best for you and your pet, and to get your pet tested, set up a wellness appointment today!

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