Mosquitoes can transmit heartworm infection when they bite your pet. Those heartworms can cause a lot of problems for your dog or cat. They can severely and sometimes fatally damage the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
It is important to note that some pets may not show any signs of infection; in those that do, symptoms can vary widely. In dogs, signs of heartworm disease can range from:
- Weight loss
- Difficulty breathing
- Swollen abdomen (caused by fluid accumulation from heart failure).
Canine heartworm infection can also lead to a life-threatening complication called “caval syndrome” (a form of liver failure); without prompt surgical intervention, this condition usually causes death.
Cats can also get heartworms. They can suffer from a syndrome referred to as heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARD). Heartworm infection is more difficult to diagnose in cats than it is in dogs.
At Beach Avenue Animal Hospital we always advocate for prevention instead of cure. Treatment for heartworm infection is more expensive than prevention—and it can actually kill your dog. There is no approved treatment for cats.
When you become a client at Beach Avenue Animal Hospital we will be able to provide you with a constant supply for worming prevention treatment. This is a monthly treatment that you administer to your pet orally. If you visit us once a year for your medical exam, we can provide you with a yearly supply of treatment.