What to Know About Heartworm Disease

Heartworm transmitter One of the conditions that your vet looks for at each checkup is heartworm disease. This devastating illness is easily prevented, but not all pet owners are aware of the risk of heartworm disease. Here is an overview of what your pet’s vet wants you to know about heartworm disease:

Cats and Dogs Get It

While heartworm disease is often seen in dogs, it occurs regularly in cats too. Pets in all fifty states can get heartworm disease, though it is most common in the Southeast and along the Mississippi River. These areas are humid and moist, making them a perfect breeding ground for the transmitters of heartworm disease: mosquitoes.

Prevention Is Simple

Your vet can provide many prevention options for your cat or dog. Oral medications, topical applications, and injections are all available. Some require monthly doses, and others have longer durations. It is also important to keep other internal parasites, such as ringworms, in check to preserve your pet’s overall wellbeing.

Treatment Is Difficult

Treating heartworm disease is risky. The parasites must be killed without hurting the animal. Hospitalization is often necessary, as are many doses of injected medication. Your cat or dog must be confined with limited exercise while he or she recovers. The treatment process is long and can be quite costly, so prevention is crucial. If you suspect your pet has heartworm disease, don’t wait to see the vet for treatment.

Pet Owners Should Know the Symptoms

You may not realize your pet has heartworm disease at first. Your dog or cat may be tired, lethargic, and show less interest in food. As the disease progresses, your pet may be unwilling to exercise, lose weight, cough, and seem generally ill. As soon as you notice a change in your pet, bring him or her to your veterinary practice for an exam. The sooner heartworms are detected, the sooner treatment can begin to restore your pet to full health.

In Dallas, bring your cat or dog to Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. Our trained staff can examine your animal and begin heartworm prevention or treatment as soon as possible. Let us help you give your pet the very best. Call us at (972) 239-1309 for an appointment today.

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