Did you know that mosquitoes can infect your pet with worms? These worms are called heartworms. A mosquito carries larvae then transmits them to your pet when they bite them. These worms live inside your pet where they grow up to a foot-long and reproduce. As the worms mature they start to reach important organs like the heart, blood vessels and lungs. If your pet’s infection is detected too late they can face organ failure, respiratory problems or even death. This is why heartworm testing is so important. If done regularly, we can detect heartworm infestations early on and prevent serious complications.
How is my pet tested for heartworms?
Heartworm disease can be detrimental to your pet’s health. Due to the severity of the disease, we recommend heartworm testing at least once every year and sometimes even more often if they are exposed to certain risk factors. To detect heartworms we collect a sample of your loyal companion’s blood. As the worms grow and mature inside your pet they release proteins that show up in your pet’s blood. An infection can be detected approximately 5 months after they have been bitten by an infected mosquito. To have your pet tested for heartworms, contact us at 905-856-7387.
How can I protect my pet from heartworms?
Prevention medication should be your first step in protecting your pet, there aren’t any approved treatments for cats. An infection can be costly to treat and poses a huge risk to their life. There are monthly preventatives that your pet can take to keep them safe. You should also ensure that your pet is vaccinated for heartworms every 6 to 12 months. In addition to protecting your pet from heartworms, some preventatives can protect your pet from other parasites.
What treatments are available for heartworm disease?
The treatment for heartworms in dogs is not safe for cats. With veterinary care, we can manage the effects and symptoms, however, if the infection is serious surgery may be recommended for feline patients. Dogs can be treated for heartworms with injections, oral medications or topical creams.