Learn Why Heartworm Prevention Is Essential to Pet Wellness Care

Is your pet up to date on heartworm protection? Skipping just one monthly dose can leave your pet vulnerable to contracting heartworms, a deadly parasite. 

Unfortunately, it can take many months before heartworm symptoms are obvious. This means heartworms may not be detected until a later stage in the illness when treatment is less successful. This is why regular heartworm screenings and preventative medicine are an important part of pet wellness care.

Quincy Veterinarian Answers Your Questions About Heartworm Prevention

Not sure if your pet is up-to-date or needs a heartworm screening? Our pet wellness team is here to help. Below, our Quincy veterinarian answers three of your most frequently asked questions about heartworm prevention.

Why are heartworms so dangerous?

Heartworms are a type of parasitic worm that are transmitted through mosquito bites. When an infected mosquito bites your dog, the heartworm larvae will enter your dog’s bloodstream. The heartworms will migrate towards your dog’s heart, eventually blocking blood flow between the lungs and heart. The worms can grow up to 12 inches and without prompt treatment, will ultimately lead to death.

What are the symptoms of heartworms?

Heartworm symptoms are non-specific; this means that the symptoms resemble many common health problems and cannot quickly be identified as heartworms without additional testing. Common symptoms include a soft dry cough, difficulty breathing, and sluggish behavior. Since symptoms are non-specific, diagnostic testing is essential to early identification.

How can I best protect my pet from heartworms?

Prevention is the best way to protect your pet from heartworms. While treatment is possible, treating heartworms is also expensive and not always successful – especially if heartworms are diagnosed at a later stage. This is why our Quincy veterinarian recommends every pet be on a monthly heartworm preventative medicine as part of routine pet wellness care. Pets must first be test for heartworms prior to starting preventative medication.

Our veterinarian is happy to answer any questions you may have about heartworm prevention as part of our pet services care program. Simply call into our office and we will determine if it’s best to have your pet come in to see us.

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