What is Heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is commonly found in dogs and is caused by the mosquito. It can also be found in other mammals including cats, bears, coyotes, ferrets and even us! The adult heartworm typically lives in the heart along with other major arteries of the lungs. The cycle starts with the infected mosquito biting another dog. That dog then is infected with the heartworms and the larvae is left in his tissue to develop. The worms then reach the heart and lungs where they take the time to mature into adult worms. They take home to the heart and multiply causing the heart to be overloaded.
Testing Your Pet
Testing your pet for heartworm disease is recommended by the American Heartworm Society. The test detects the presence of adult heartworms in the heart. The heartworms take 6 months to reach the large larvae stage and to reach the heart. After a negative test result, start your pet on monthly Heartgard Chewable tablets or on Pro-Heart injections.
Give the chewable tablet once a month, year round for the best protection. If given year-round, a yearly test is not required. This is less expensive and less traumatic on your pet. If your pet is under 6 months of age, a test is not required until the reach the age of 1 year.
The Pro-Heart injection is a single injection shot that is given once every 6 months and offers the same protection as the Heartgard Chewable tablets. It continuously protects your dog from the terrible heartworms!
Why treat for Heartworm?
Monthly preventatives are much cheaper on the pocket book then the cost of treatment that your pet would undergo if they do have heartworms. This is a serious disease and can cause death if not treated correctly or prevented. We’re starting to see more and more cases of this disease in our area. Please take proper safety precautions and treat your pet.
Want an added bonus? The Heartgard Chewable tablets also double as a monthly dewormer for hookworms and roundworms. If you choose to get the Pro-Heart injection, we send home a pill called Nemex which also is a dewormer that gets the hookworms and roundworms.For more information, check out heartgard.com, americanhearwormsociety.org, or call us at the clinic at 605-333-4350.