Taking care of a pet is both a privilege and a responsibility, and many things need to be done to keep them healthy. Feeding, training, exercising, and making sure they have required vaccinations are obvious requirements. However, protecting your pet from harmful diseases and viruses is an essential aspect of animal care. Our team at All Animal Veterinary Services is here to ensure that your pet is properly protected from heartworms.
What are Heartworms?
Heartworms are parasitic nematodes that live in the heart of mammals. These parasitic worms can be about a foot long and attach to the inside of the heart and large blood vessels. A dog with heartworm disease can wind up with hundreds of worms. Cats are less likely to get the disease, but even a few worms can cause severe damage.
Heartworm disease mainly spreads through mosquitos. When a mosquito bites one animal, it picks up a heartworm larva and deposits it into the next animal it bites. These larvae develop into worms in 10-14 days and begin to multiply.
Treating and Preventing Heartworm Disease
When heartworm disease happens, there aren't always symptoms. Both dogs and cats may develop a cough, lose their appetite, or lose weight. Dogs may be more reluctant to exercise, and cats may experience fainting or fluid in their abdomen. Often, pet owners cannot tell something is wrong until it is already serious.
The best way to protect against heartworms is with an annual exam and preventative care from our veterinarian. Both dogs and cats can be on preventative medicine, but only dogs can actually be treated for an active heartworm infestation. One additional benefit of preventative medicine is that it often protects against other worms and parasites in addition to heartworms.
If your dog does test positive, another test will be given to confirm the presence of the heartworms. Activity will need to be restricted, and dogs will need to be treated by our veterinarian for about nine months before being retested to assure all heartworms are gone.
Contact Us for Heartworm Treatment from Our Veterinarian in Modena
At All Animal Veterinary Services in Modena, NY, we take heartworm prevention seriously. Our team will do everything we can for your pet if they are suffering from heartworm disease. If you live in Modena or the surrounding areas, contact us at All Animal Veterinary Services in Modena at (845) 255-2900 to schedule an appointment.