Heartworm Prevention: A Pet Wellness Essential
How Heartworm Can Harm Your Pet
Heartworm can seriously limit your pet’s health and his ability to enjoy life. These tiny, spaghetti-like worms begin life as larvae injected into the blood via mosquito bites. The larvae mature into long, worms that eventually make a home in the heart and lungs. Infected cats may display signs of an asthma-like condition known as Heartworm Acquired Respiratory Disease. Dogs may appear unaffected for quite some time; advanced symptoms include coughing, fatigue, loss of appetite and sluggishness. If owners wait until obvious symptoms appear, the pet may well be too far gone for effective treatment.
Why Prevention Trumps Treatment
While it is possible to treat dogs suffering from heartworm, these treatments are extensive, relatively costly and not always successful in eradicating the parasites. We urge owners to make heartworm prevention a regular part of their pet’s wellness regimen. Daily or monthly doses that can be administered orally or topically are both convenient and highly effective, provided you remember to keep up the dosages. (Some of these medications have the added benefit of protecting against other parasites as well.) If you seek an even more convenient option, or you are worried about accidentally forgetting to administer a daily or monthly medication, we can give your pet an injection that protects against heartworm for up to six months at a time.
Before you can prescribe any preventative routine, however, we must check your pet for an existing infestation, because preventatives can cause a harmful in an infested animal. Going forward, annual checks can confirm that the medication is doing its job and giving your pet the healthy life he deserves. Schedule an evaluation at Wadsworth Animal Hospital today!
Have you ever known an animal who suffered from heartworm? What symptoms did he show?