Heartworms are parasites that can invade pets’ hearts and lungs, making them very sick. Treatment of heartworm disease can be lengthy and expensive, and the outcomes are not always positive. Fortunately, heartworm prevention medications are available to prevent pets from acquiring heartworm disease. Pet Vet Animal Hospitals, at our three locations in the Houston, TX, area provide testing, treatment and prevention of heartworm disease.
What Is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworms are parasitic worms that invade the bodies of animals. The worms are transmitted through the bite of a mosquito, which feeds off the blood of an infected animal and then transmits the microscopic worms to the next animal. These microscopic worms then travel through blood vessels to an affected animal’s heart and lungs, where they grow and multiply, clogging the organs of the host animal. Dogs are highly susceptible to heartworms, so preventative medications are needed to keep them safe. Cats are not a natural host for heartworms, but can still acquire the disease, although it is generally less severe.
Symptoms of Heartworm Disease
Symptoms of heartworm disease include coughing, difficulty breathing, reluctance to exercise, and vomiting. Weight loss and depression can also occur.
Diagnosing Heartworm Disease
Your vet can test your pet for heartworms with a simple blood test. If no worms are found, prevention medication can be administered. If worms are already present, your pet will require treatment to halt the progress of the disease.
Treatment of Heartworm Disease
Treatment for heartworm disease in dogs involves complete rest for the animal to minimize damage to the heart and lungs. Heartworm prevention medications are given to eliminate adolescent worms, and antibiotics and cortisone medications are administered to reduce inflammation. A number of treatments may be needed to completely eradicate the worms. There is no standard treatment for cats with heartworm disease, but antibiotics and cortisone can help to relieve symptoms.
Preventing Heartworm Disease in Your Pet
Heartworm prevention medications are available to protect your pet against heartworm disease. The oral form of the medication is administered every month. The injectable form is administered every six months to provide protection for pets.
Make Pet Vet Animal Hospitals Your Veterinarian in Houston
The veterinarians and staff at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals are committed to providing quality, individualized care for patients in Houston. We off a broad range of veterinary services, including vaccinations, wellness exams, dental care, preventative care, diagnostics, surgery, and microchipping. Call Pet Vet Animal Hospitals today at 281-561-0276 for an appointment or to learn about the prevention of heartworm disease.