A Heartworm is More Than Just a Parasite
Keeping your pet healthy means protecting them from various diseases, some of which can be very serious or even fatal. Heartworm is a progressive, parasite-transmitted disease that can lead to heart failure, organ damage, and even death if left untreated. Both cats and dogs are vulnerable to this disease, though dogs are a more typical host for heartworm than cats.
How Do Pets Become Infected?
Heartworms are long, threadlike parasites that are transmitted to their hosts through the bite of a mosquito. When an infected mosquito bites a dog, the heartworm larvae are deposited into the host’s bloodstream, which carries them to the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels. Without treatment, heartworms will accumulate, causing damage to the organs and blocking blood flow within the heart.
The best way to detect heartworm disease in your pet is to have them tested. A small sample of blood is all we need to determine whether they have an infection.
Can Heartworm Disease Be Treated?
While heartworm disease is treatable in dogs, cats that become infected do not have any treatment options. For both species, we recommend a monthly heartworm preventative that should be given all 12 months of the year. Preventatives not only kill existing parasites, but also help to prevent future infestations.
Prevention is the best form of treatment in this case, and will not only save your pet unnecessary suffering, but will also prove far less costly. In addition to using monthly preventatives, we recommend having your pet tested for heartworm every 12 months as part of their wellness exam.
We encourage pet owners to remain aware of heartworm disease and the dangers it can pose to their pets. Please contact us at (978) 851-5558 if you have concerns about your pet’s preventative regimen or have questions about the preventatives we offer. If we do not carry a certain product, we would be happy to order it for you.