Heartworms are often considered one of the deadliest parasites due to the debilitating effects that an infection can cause. Regularly administered Heartworm prevention will keep your pet healthy.
Heartworms are parasitic worms that live inside your pets’ body, receiving their nutrition directly from your pets’ blood. Each heartworm can grow up to a foot in length and once mature, are capable of reproducing. Heartworms can live up to 7 years and reproduce every 6 months.
Your pet gets Heartworms from a mosquito. When the mosquito bites an infected animal, it takes some immature heartworm cells into its mouth. These are then passed onto the next host it bites, entering the bloodstream and making way to the heart, lungs, and blood vessels where they mature.
Some Symptoms of Heartworms:
- Shortness of breath
- Soft persistent cough
- Refusal to exercise
- Weight loss
- bulging chest
There are different options for Heartworm prevention. All Veterinarians highly recommend Heartworm prevention such as a Monthly tablet, 6-month injection, or 12-month injection.
Question: Do I need to give Heartworm prevention all year?
Answer: Absolutely! Mosquitos can live all year round and so can the threat they present to your pet.
Question: Can Heartworms be treated?
Answer: Yes! Heartworms can be treated with relative success, although depending on how severely affected your pet is, he or she may have some lasting health problems from her ordeal. Treatment usually involves admitting your pet to the Hospital for an overnight visit and multiple visits afterwards. This treatment is both costly and carries high risk.
Prevention is key!! Talk to your Veterinarian about Heartworm disease and prevention today!!