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Things You Need To Know About Heartworms

April 1, 2019
April is Heartworm Awareness Month! We know, it’s much more fun to talk about kittens or puppies. However, keeping your beloved pet safe from these dangerous parasites is very important! In this article from Fairfield Animal Hospital, your Cy-Fair pet clinic, a local vet discusses some key facts about heartworms.

They Are Deadly

Heartworms are very small when they first infect a dog, so they don’t cause issues or symptoms right away. However, as the worms grow, they take up space in dogs’ hearts, as well as in their lungs and arteries. This is when things get dangerous, as the worms will begin to interfere with your furry pal’s vital organs. Left untreated, heartworm infestations can be fatal.

Coughing Is The First Symptom

Usually, coughing is the first symptom dogs exhibit with heartworm infestations. As the worms grow, symptoms will become more severe. Fido may lose his breath easily, and he may get tired very quickly. Severe infestations can cause even more serious problems, such as fainting and heart attacks.

They Are Carried By Mosquitos

Heartworms have enlisted everyone’s favorite insect, the mosquito, to carry their larvae from dog to dog, thus spreading infestations. This is significant for a few reasons. One, since mosquitos are pretty much everywhere, heartworms are a danger in every state. Two, Fido can become infected anywhere, even inside your home.

They’re Not Easy To Treat

Heartworms can be treated, but treatment can be quite expensive. It also isn’t much fun for Fido. Your pet may have to take some pretty powerful medications during treatment. He may also need to be kenneled, to restrict his movements. Severe cases may require surgery. It’s much better to protect your pet from these dangerous and disgusting worms than it is to try and eradicate a live infestation. It’s also worth noting that heartworm prevention products don’t kill live worms.

They Are Preventable

It’s actually quite easy to protect your four-legged buddy from heartworm infestations. Just make sure to keep up with Fido’s parasite control products. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Cats Get Them Too

Our feline pals can also contract heartworms. However, because Fluffy’s physiology is different from Fido’s, we don’t see heartworms as often in cats. Does your dog need heartworm prevention, testing, or treatment? Contact us here at Fairfield Animal Hospital, your local Cy-Fair pet clinic, today.
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