Heartworms are parasites that live inside pets. The worms are transmitted to your pet when an infected mosquito bites them. The worms can mature and reproduce. While inside your pet, they can grow up to a foot long. When your pet is infected the worms can block major blood vessels and damage their heart. Dogs are more likely to be infected, but cats can also be affected on occasion. Our team is here to help protect your pet and provide treatment if they ever become infected.
What are signs that my pet has heartworms?
The best way to know if your pet has heartworms is to have them checked by a veterinarian. The signs of heartworms manifest themselves when the disease is advanced. Once you notice any of the symptoms contact your veterinarian immediately. Some symptoms to look out for are:
- Persistent dry coughing
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of energy
- Sudden weight loss
What happens when my pet is tested for heartworms?
To test for heartworms a sample of your pet’s blood is taken. We check the blood sample for heartworm protein. We may also perform X-rays to examine the heart and other organs affected by heartworms. If heartworms are detected we provide treatment in the form of an injection that kills the heartworms.
How can I protect my pet from heartworms?
We recommend enrollment in a prevention program to protect your pet from heartworms. Our prevention plan includes routine testing, vaccines and medications that are in the form of tablets or topical liquids. Although each patient is different, we recommend that pets be vaccinated against heartworms every 6 to 12 months. To get your pet protected from heartworms please don’t hesitate to call 519-971-3100 to schedule an appointment.