All it takes is one mosquito to transmit heartworms to your dog or cat. Protecting against heartworm disease by managing and preventing infection with the parasite is an important part of pet ownership.
Heartworm disease is caused by worms that spend their adult lives on the right side of the heart and the large blood vessels which connect the heart to the lungs. This can eventually cause heart failure, and if left untreated, heartworm disease can be fatal.
Prevention is the key to keeping your dog or cat safe, as treatment for the disease is expensive and an ordeal for your pet.
There are several forms of medications available, including monthly tablets, chews and topical applications.
Signs of heartworm infection depend on the health, size and activity level of the dog or cat and the severity of the parasite infection.
Common heartworm disease symptoms in dogs include coughing, lack of energy, reluctance to exercise and weight loss.
Common heartworm disease symptoms in cats include wheezing, chronic vomiting and coughing, heart murmur, loss of appetite, weight loss and lack of energy.
Ideally, prevention management of heartworm disease should be started at puppy and kitten age and carried on throughout life during all seasons.
All adult dogs and cats should be tested for heartworm infection before starting a preventative program.
For advice about heartworm disease prevention management, contact your local veterinarian or quality pet retailer.