Heartworm is a very serious and potentially fatal disease in pets. It is more common than you may think. When these parasites get into your pet's body, they invade the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. These parasites can cause heart disease, lung disease, and they can cause damage to other vital organs. Because heartworm can be deadly, it is essential that you talk to our veterinarians at the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County in Ferndale about heartworm prevention.
How Do Pets Get Heartworm?
The only way a pet can get heartworm is from an infected mosquito bite. If an infected mosquito bites your pet, it takes several months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms, therefore, you probably won't know if your pet has been infected right away.
Some people assume that heartworm disease can be spread by an infected pet who has heartworms, that is not true. Mosquitos are the ones that pass heartworms to pets. In order for a mosquito to infect an animal, the heartworm needs to go through an incubation period in the mosquito before he can spread the disease.
How to Prevent Your Pet from Getting Heartworm
If your pet develops heartworm, it can be managed, however, the process is very time-consuming and expensive. Also, there is no guarantee that the treatment will work. The best way to prevent heartworms is to take necessary precautions.
- Schedule Annual Veterinary Visits: It is important that you take your pet to see our veterinarians every year for a checkup. During your pet’s routine visit, your pet will be tested for heartworm disease. If the condition is caught early, the chances of the treatment being successful increases.
- Preventative Medication: The best way to protect your pet from heartworm disease is preventative medication. Heartworm medications comes in an oral form and a topical form. These medications won't kill the adult heartworm that has already infected your pet, but they will protect them from the larvae that grow into adult heartworm.
- Keep Your Home Mosquito Free: If there are no mosquitoes in your yard, the chance of your pet developing heartworm decreases. Mosquitoes breed around stagnant water, therefore, you should make sure that buckets, toys, and flowerpots are empty.
- Outdoor Bug Control: Keeping the bugs away will protect your pet from heartworm. You can hire a company to spray pet-friendly insecticide in your yard, which will keep the mosquitoes from biting your pets as well as your family.
If your pet has a persistent cough, loss of appetite, loss of weight, and appears to be more fatigued than usual, then call the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County right away so that our veterinarians can provide proper treatment to your pet.
Call the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County for Heartworm Prevention
It is essential that you schedule an appointment with the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County in Ferndale ever year. When you bring your pet to our veterinary hospital, we will test your pet for heartworm disease. We can provide your pet prescription medicine for heartworms, which is the best defense against heartworm disease. Call the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County at (845) 292-6711.