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5 Things Every Pet Owner Should Know About Heartworms

5 Things Every Pet Owner Should Know About Heartworms

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially deadly condition that affects dogs, cats, and other pets. It’s caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis that is transmitted through mosquito bites. If left untreated, heartworm disease can lead to serious health problems like heart failure and lung disease. As a pet owner, it’s important to be aware of the risks of heartworm disease and learn how to prevent it. 


Here are the five most important things that pet owners need to know about heartworms:


#1: Heartworm disease is preventable

When it comes to heartworm disease, prevention is key! There are several types of heartworm preventatives available, including monthly chewable tablets, topical treatments and injections. These products work by killing the immature heartworm larvae transmitted by mosquitoes before they can develop into adult worms. It’s crucial to administer these preventatives on a regular basis to keep your pet protected. 

Make sure to meet with your veterinarian to determine which heartworm preventative is right for your pet.


#2: Early detection of heartworms is critical

The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the better the chances of a successful outcome for your pet. Heartworms can be detected through a blood test that checks for the presence of specific proteins. If your pet tests positive for them, then your veterinarian will recommend a treatment plan that may include medication, rest and monitoring.


#3: Treatment can be costly

Treating heartworm disease can be expensive, especially if the disease has progressed to a more severe stage. Heartworm treatment typically involves a series of injections that kill the adult worms as well as medication to manage any symptoms. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary. You should discuss the costs of treatment with your veterinarian so that you can plan accordingly.


#4: The mosquito population should be controlled

Since heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, controlling the mosquito population around your home is crucial. This can be done by eliminating standing water, using mosquito repellent and keeping your pet indoors during peak mosquito hours. You can also discuss the use of mosquito control products with your veterinarian to make sure it’s safe for your pet.


#5: Regular check-ups are essential for your pet’s health

Your pet should be seen by their veterinarian on a regular basis. Typically, veterinarians will perform routine heartworm tests on your animal as well as recommend a heartworm prevention plan that is tailored to your pet’s specific needs. They should also monitor your pet’s overall health and address any concerns you may have.


Book your wellness exam with Robertsdale Animal Clinic, your hometown veterinarian! They’ll make your pet’s wellness their #1 priority! 


Dr. Alan More
Robertsdale Animal Clinic

21102 AL-59
Robertsdale, AL 36567
Phone: 251-947-7297


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