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Heartworm Disease in Cats & Dogs

By April 14, 2012No Comments

PREVENTION IS THE BEST POLICY

A pesky mosquito can inject tiny worms called microfilariae into our pets. The microfilariae create turbulence that damages blood cells and vessel walls. The damage, in turn, causes clotting, scarring, and narrowing of blood vessels. The blood pressure goes up, and as it does, the heart pumps harder. This causes the heart to fail. Heartworm disease is known to be a serious risk – even for pets that stay indoors – in all 50 states, at any time of the year.

Prevention

The good news is that prevention of heartworm disease is easier and more convenient than ever before. There is a variety of options for preventing infection in both dogs and cats. They are extremely effective, safe, easy and inexpensive. When administered properly, heartworm infection can be completely prevented. Talk to your veterinarian about how to best protect your pets from this dangerous disease.

These monthly preventatives can provide protection against not only heartworm, but also against such other parasites as roundworms, hookworms, fleas, ear mites and ticks. However, they must be administered correctly; missing even one treatment can leave your pet vulnerable to attack.

Treatment

A simple blood test reveals heartworms in your pet’s system. If they are detected, the next step is usually to administer medication to kill the worms. In some cases, surgery to remove adult heartworms must be performed.

Pets with advanced heartworm disease have signs of heart failure including frequent coughing, tiring easily, abdominal swelling, decreased appetite, weight loss, fainting, and blood clotting problems.

Although treatment for heartworm disease in dogs is possible, it is a complicated and expensive process. There is no effective treatment for heartworm disease in cats, so it is imperative that disease prevention measures be taken for them.

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