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Spring is Here and Soon the Mosquitoes Will be Here Too! Have you started your pet’s heartworm prevention?

By March 26, 2024March 27th, 2024No Comments

Calling out to all pet parents! Heartworm disease can be a very serious and fatal disease. Heartworm disease is where heartworms live primarily in the heart, but also the lungs and blood vessels of your pet. This can lead to lung disease, heart failure, and other organs being damaged in the process. Heartworm disease is transferred from a pet who has heartworms in their blood and a mosquito takes their blood. In turn, the mosquito bites another pet and transfers the heartworms to them.

Pets that are most susceptible to heartworm disease are animals who are living outside since they do have that full time exposure outside. Unfortunately, any dog or cat can get it even if they don’t live outside. Heartworm disease is most likely to affect dogs, but can also affect ferrets and cats.

Symptoms are more prominent in dogs, however, ferrets can show similar symptoms of dogs but a lot sooner. Dogs show little to no symptoms in the early stages of heartworm disease. Symptoms in dogs in the late stages of heartworm disease can include a constant cough, weight loss, decrease in appetite and lethargy. Heartworm disease is different in cats. They experience little to no symptoms which can lead to them being undiagnosed with heartworm until it is too late. Cats may still end up getting heartworm associated respiratory disease. This will usually develop when the parasite starts to die and the body is trying to get rid of the heartworms. This is the critical time for cats..

Getting your dog tested for heartworm is very important for their health and well-being. We recommend testing your dog every year for heartworms. We like to start testing once they are 1 year old to make sure we can catch any infections in your dog early. It is also a way for us and you to know the heartworm prevention is still working well.

Luckily, there are preventative medications out there for your pet or pets to help prevent this deadly disease. Heartworm preventions come in topical, oral, or injectable options depending your lifestyle and preference. Some of the oral tablets also cover flea and tick prevention. Call us today to find out more and make sure your pet is protected!