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Heartworm Disease


Got your attention, didn’t I? Read further for more information on this deadly disease.

What are heartworms?

Heartworms are parasites that are transfered from pet to pet via mosquitoes. The heartworms can mature in your pet’s heart and grow up to 14 inches long. As you can imagine, it wouldn’t take too many of these worms to cause severe health problems for your pet. In cats, it can take just one heartworm to clog an artery and cause death.

What are the signs of heartworm disease?

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Weight loss

heartworm mapCould my dog and/or cat be at risk? Yes. Heartworm disease is now worldwide, and mosquitoes are, too.

Diagnosis is most commonly done by a blood test in your veterinarian’s office. X-rays, ultrasounds, or other diagnostic tests may be performed as well.

Treatment has become safer over the years, but it still has considerable health risks for your dog. Cats are very rarely treated for heartworm, because the treatment is as risky as having heartworms. The treatment consists of two injections given 24 hours apart. The dog must be monitored by the veterinarian for any adverse signs. Then another heartworm test must be preformed in 6 months to make sure your pet is negative.

Keep your pet on heartworm preventative and have those regular heartworm checks! The cost of these is minimal compared to the financial and health costs you and your pet will have to pay for treatment of this dreaded disease.