Both cats and dogs can acquire heartworm disease, which is caused by a parasite and can be deadly for pets. Preventative medications are available that can help your pet avoid this serious disease that can be difficult to treat. At Citrus Heights Pet Hospital in Citrus Heights, CA, we provide testing, prevention measures, and treatment of heartworm disease in pets.
Understanding Heartworm Disease
Heartworm is a microscopic parasite that is transmitted into the body of an animal through the bite of a mosquito. The parasite cannot be transmitted from one animal to another or to humans. Once the microscopic worm is in the bloodstream, it travels to the heart and lungs where it begins to grow and multiply. Eventually, the number of worms begins to crowd the heart and lungs and noticeable symptoms appear, such as coughing, weakness, poor condition, and labored breathing. The best way to protect your pet against heartworms is to provide preventative medications that are available through your veterinarian.
Heartworm Prevention Medications Keep Your Pet Healthy
Medications that prevent heartworms from taking hold are available for both cats and dogs.
Spot-on topical treatments are available that are easy to use and may offer protection against other types of parasites, as well as heartworms. An oral form is available that is given once each month. An injectable form is also available that provides protection for six months. Your vet can advise on the best type for your pet.
Treating heartworm disease in dogs involves providing medications to kill the worms, antibiotics to eliminate secondary infections, and enforced rest for several months. Testing is done throughout the treatment period to determine if worms remain in the animal’s body. Gradually, the animal can regain its health, but a positive outcome is not always assured. There is no standard treatment to eliminate the worms in cats, although supportive measures such as oxygen therapy, intravenous feeding, antibiotics, and cardiovascular medications.
Choose Citrus Heights Pet Hospital For Your Pet’s Veterinary Care
Dr. Brikson, Dr. Henricks, and the staff at Citrus Heights Pet Hospital are committed to quality veterinary care for all their patients in Citrus Heights, CA, and surrounding areas. We offer many services, including exams, preventative care, dental care, diagnostics, surgery, acupuncture, and emergency care. Contact Citrus Heights Pet Hospital today at (916) 725-2700for an appointment to learn how preventative methods can help your pet avoid heartworm disease.