Were you aware that April is Heartworm Awareness Month? Your pet’s health matters a lot. Today we’re going to provide some facts on heartworm disease so that you can keep your pet healthy and heart-worm-free. This blog will be chock full of valuable information such as how pets develop heartworm disease, its symptoms, and how to treat it, and most importantly, how to prevent it by using a chewable tablet by the name of Interceptor Plus.
Heartworm Disease: What is It and What Causes It?
Heartworm disease is a condition that can result in severe lung, heart, and organ damage if not treated properly. It can even be fatal. The parasitic worm Dirofilaria immitis is transmitted through a mosquito bite, and a dog is a definitive host. In short, this means that worms develop into adults, mate, and produce offspring while living inside of a dog. The disease gets its name because adult worms live in the heart, blood, and lungs as vessels inside an infected animal.
This disease’s severity depends on how many worms are inside the dog, how long the dog has been experiencing this infection, and how the dog’s body responds to parasites. Dogs that have many worms inside them and have been infected for a while will show the most obvious signs, which include:
- A Persistent Cough
- Fatigue After Mild Exertion
- Difficulty Breathing
- Heart Failure
- Caval Syndrome: When there is such a heavy accumulation of worms, they cause a blockage in the heart.
Heartworm disease is treated with a series of injections over a month with a drug called melarsomine along with a regimen of oral medications. The injections are given into deep muscle tissue and can be painful. Strict cage rest is also required during treatment to prevent caval syndrome. The best way to treat heartworm disease is to prevent it in the first place.
Interceptor Plus is a chewable tablet that kills heartworms before they mature. Your dog will appreciate this treatment because the tablet is chicken-flavored. Not only does it protect your canine companion against heartworms, but it fights against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Another form of prevention is regular testing. We run tests for heartworm disease and Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasia. You can honor Heartworm Awareness Month by sharing this blog and keeping your pets healthy by regularly bringing them in for wellness exams.
We’d also like to mention that cats can develop heartworm disease, although not as commonly as dogs. It’s hard to detect heartworm disease in cats, and the treatment that would work for a dog doesn’t work for a cat. Bravecto Plus for cats is the best option to prevent heartworm disease from even developing.
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!