Heartworms are parasites that pose a threat to your pet’s life. In cases of severe infection your pet can develop sudden blockage of blood flow to their heart along with other life threatening symptoms. The disease is more common in dogs, but cats can also have smaller amounts of heartworms. Due to the severity of the disease the veterinary community highly suggests preventing an infection in your pet. Preventative care includes regular testing and staying up-to-date on their medications.
How does my pet get heartworms?
Your pet gets heartworms when they are bitten by infected mosquitoes. Some mosquitoes carry baby heartworms known as larvae and pass them on to pets where they mature into adults. The worms can grow up to 12 inches and reach the bloodstream, heart and lungs.
What are symptoms of heartworm disease?
The longer your pet has a heartworm infection the more apparent the symptoms become, this also means their symptoms can become serious. Here are some signs that your pet may have heartworms:
- Fluid-filled or swollen abdomen
- Reluctance to exercise
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent cough
- Fatigue after moderate activity
Some of these symptoms can quickly develop into serious problems for your pet. You should seek veterinary help as soon as you notice any of the signs. Our team will perform diagnostic testing and provide treatment as needed. Please call us at 705-434-2226 to book an appointment.
What treatments are available for heartworm disease?
Feline friends usually experience severe respiratory illnesses when they have heartworms, which is why we encourage preventatives. In dogs, there are effective treatments available, however they can be very expensive. This is why we highly recommend your pet take monthly preventative medication especially during spring, summer and early fall. When your pet is diagnosed with heartworms we can remove them by administering a series of injections to kill the parasites.
Can I treat heartworm disease at home?
It is not safe to try to treat heartworm disease on your own. Trying to rid your pet of heartworms without a veterinarian can lead to more problems or complications. Heartworm disease can cause long-term damage that quick online remedies won’t address. The best treatment for the disease comes from a licensed veterinarian.