Known as a potentially devastating fatal disease, heartworms are foot-long worms that live within the lungs, heart and blood vessels, causing organ, heart failure and lung disease in the body of a domestic pet, primarily cats, ferrets, and dogs. Dogs are commonly known as the 'natural' host for heartworms which means worms transform into adults and continue to bread and produce offspring; cats are atypical hosts, meaning most worms do not survive beyond the adult stage The root cause of the spread of this disease is the common mosquito, which is known as the intermediate host as heartworms live within the pest for a short period of time.
However, if left untreated in either animal, the presence of heartworms can leave devastating results — even death. Therefore, discussing preventative heartworm treatment options offered at the Henderson Animal Hospital in Winnipeg is an essential part of veterinary care.
What are the Symptoms of Heartworms?
The most common way to discover if your pet has a heartworm infection is during the administration of blood work. However, depending upon the stage of infection, your pet may exhibit physical symptoms such as:
- Persistent cough
- Decrease in appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Inactivity or lethargy
- The presence of urine in the blood
- Fainting or weakness when standing
Benefits of Heartworm Prevention
The American Heartworm Society recommends all dogs be provided with year-long protection from heartworms. Our staff of skilled veterinarians will work closely with you to determine heartworm prevention for your pet. With the key goal of prevention in mind, it is important to consider the costs to treat a heartworm infection compared to the investment in heartworm prevention. Prevention treatment is not a complicated process and typically involves three factors:
- Preventative-based medications
- Lower exposure to mosquitos
- Blood testing
Commonly available in tablet, shots or topical liquid form, the purpose of preventative heartworm medicines is to kill the presence of heartworm larvae within the dog's bloodstream on a monthly basis as administered. Establishing the practice of monthly heartworm prevention will significantly aid in reducing your pet's risk of infection. There several heartworm preventatives that also provide protection from other worm types such as whipworms, hookworms, and roundworms.
Call Henderson Animal Hospital Today!
The Henderson Animal Hospital proudly serves the Winnipeg MB area to provide your veterinary needs such as heartworm treatment. We are committed to establishing a long-lasting relationship with you and your pet. Our mission is to provide high-quality care and treatments to ensure your pet remains healthy and happy for years to come.
Contact us today at (204) 339-9295 to schedule an appointment.