Heartworm Awareness And Prevention

Heartworm Awareness And Prevention

Heartworm prevention is a vital part of maintaining optimal pet health. At Sage Creek Animal Hospital in Winnipeg, we want to stress the importance of heartworm prevention. After reading this article, if you have questions about your furry friend or heartworms, one of our Sage Creek veterinarians will provide further guidance on prevention.

What Exactly Are Heartworms?

Heartworms are parasitic worms that are transmitted between animals by mosquitoes. When a mosquito draws blood from an infected animal, the worm larvae, caught in the blood, are then released into the mosquito’s next victim. Worms will mature and reach adulthood at about seven months. Mature heartworms can grow up to a foot long and will continue to reproduce as they thrive in dogs. However, cat’s systems aren’t as hospitable, and there are significant differences between diagnosis and treatment between the two species.

Heartworm Prevention And Treatment For Dogs

Infected dogs that are left untreated can become a host to several hundred worms. Unfortunately, symptoms of heartworm disease are slow to present themselves. Often, the lag between infection and detection allows the disease to progress unhindered. A heartworm infestation often results in long-term damage to the heart, lungs, arteries, liver, and kidneys. Depending on the severity of the infection, your dog’s health and quality of life could suffer permanently. In any case, administering heartworm prevention once per month is undoubtedly easier on your dog and much less expensive than the treatment a veterinarian can provide after an infestation.

Heartworm Prevention For Cats

Luckily, cats are not as hospitable as dogs. Rarely do heartworms grow to adulthood within the system of a cat. While on the surface, that seems positive, immature worms can cause significant damage. Infected cats will often go undiagnosed, and immature worms cause a potentially severe condition known as HARD, (heartworm associated respiratory disease). Sadly, there is no cure for HARD, and the best a veterinarian can do is offer stabilizing treatments. Our veterinarian will administer a heartworm test before starting your cat on monthly heartworm prevention.

Contact Sage Creek Animal Hospital Today

Call (204) 255-1150 to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian at Sage Creek Animal Hospital in Winnipeg today. Prevention is the best way to protect your beloved pet from heartworm disease.