Heartworms are parasites that can live inside your pet and cause serious health issues. Even though heartworms are more commonly seen in dogs, cats can get them too. If a cat is infested with heartworm it may suffer from respiratory illness. In general if heartworms are left untreated they can lead to heart failure, lung disease, organ damage and in some cases death. Because of the severity of the disease it is important that your pet is tested regularly and given prevention medication.
What is heartworm disease in pets?
Mosquitoes carry heartworm eggs with them and they are passed on to your pets through mosquito bites. The eggs then mature and grow up to a foot long where they reproduce. The worms live inside the blood vessels, lungs and heart of the infected patient.
What are signs that my pet has heartworms?
The signs of heartworms can range from mild to life-threatening depending on how advanced the disease is. For this reason once you spot any of these signs you should have your veterinarian check your pet. Here are signs you should look out for:
1. Swollen abdomen
3. Persistent dry coughing
4. Difficulty breathing
5. Huge weight loss
7. Decrease in appetite
8. Heart failure
How is my pet tested for heartworms?
Our team will first take blood samples from your pet. Heartworms affect the heart, kidneys and liver so we will do more tests and X-rays to determine how well those organs function. If the tests show an infection then we will provide treatment.
How can I protect my pet from heartworms?
The best protection is prevention. Heartworm infection is more expensive to treat than having your pet on prevention medication. Preventative medication should be administered every month. To get your pet protected from heartworms call our team at 250.724.4444.