Heartworm is a serious and potentially deadly disease that affects both dogs and cats. It is caused by a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and lungs, and can cause significant damage to these organs.
Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent heartworm infection, and treatment is available if your pet does become infected. In this article, we'll discuss the prevention and treatment of heartworm disease in dogs and cats and how we at Highway 71 Veterinary Hospital serving Cedar Creek, TX and Bastrop, TX, can help.
What Is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworm disease is caused by a parasitic worm. This worm is transmitted to dogs and cats through the bite of an infected mosquito. The worm then migrates to the heart and lungs, where it can cause serious damage. Heartworm disease can be fatal, so it's important to take steps to prevent your pet from becoming infected.
Prevention of Heartworm Disease
One best ways to protect your pet from heartworm disease is to have them tested by a veterinarian and put on preventive medication.
There are many different brands of heartworm preventives, so talk to a veterinarian on our team about which one is right for your pet. Some heartworm preventives also protect against other parasites, such as fleas and ticks, so they can provide additional benefits for your pet.
Symptoms of Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease can be difficult to detect in its early stages, but there are some signs that you can look for. If your pet is infected with these parasites, they may cough, have difficulty breathing, and tire easily. They may also have a decreased appetite and weight loss. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your pet to a veterinarian on our team for testing.
Treatment of Heartworm Disease
If your pet does become infected with heartworms, don't despair – treatment is available. Heartworm treatment options will vary depending on the severity of the infection, but most pets will require a course of oral or injectable medications. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary.
After heartworm treatment, they’ll need to be restricted from strenuous activity during treatment to allow their heart and lungs time to heal.
Visit Us for More Information
Heartworm disease is a serious condition that can be fatal, but it’s preventable. If you take steps to protect your pet from mosquitoes, have them tested, and put on preventive medication, you can help keep them safe from this disease. If they do become infected, treatment is available. So don't wait – talk to us at Highway 71 Veterinary Hospital servind Cedar Creek, TX, and Bastrop, TX, about how we can help keep your pet healthy and safe. Call us at (512) 303-5444 for more information.