Heartworms cause a serious, progressive disease. The earlier we know your pet has heartworms, the better the chances of recovery. Unfortunately, there are very few, if any, early signs of disease when a pet is infected with heartworms. Testing your dog or cat as recommended by your veterinarian is extremely important to detect heartworms early on.
At Boardwalk Animal Hospital, we administer heartworm tests right here in our clinic. The test requires only a small blood sample from your pet, and it works by detecting the presence of heartworm proteins.
How to Prevent Heartworms
It’s difficult to know whether there is an outbreak of heartworms in your area. Stray and neglected dogs and certain wildlife like coyotes, wolves, and foxes can carry heartworms into your neighbourhood. Even mosquitos can pick up baby heartworm larvae and transfer them to your pet. While in the early stages, heartworm larvae are easily prevented by oral, topical or injectable medication.
Unfortunately, heartworm larvae can mature into adult stage in as little as 51 days. Once in the adult stage, heartworms cannot be eliminated by such preventatives. It is extremely important that heartworm preventatives be administered on schedule. Speak with your veterinarian to discuss which method is best for you and your pet: oral pills, topical products, or professional administered injectable medication. Administering prevention medication late can allow immature larvae to molt into the adult stage, leaving your pet in danger of disease.
- Signs of Heartworm in Dogs -
- Signs of Heartworm in Cats-