Pet News and Advice

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Heartworm - How To Protect Your Pet

Published on Monday, July 20, 2015 in All Animals and Pets

Most cat and dog owners have heard of heart worms and know it is as simple as a monthly worming regiment or a yearly injection to protect your pet. For those that do not give their pets this medication, please read on to understand how very serious this disease is. Pet owners that give their pet this monthly or yearly preventative, know your pet loves you for it!

Keep in mind this disease is fatal and it only takes a few minutes each month to treat your pet or even easier get your vet to give them the injection with your other yearly vaccines.

Take a minute to read about the heart worm and it`s life cycle.

this is how the heartworm process works:

Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes. “First, adult female heartworms release their young, called microfilariae, while taking blood meal from the infected animal. During the next 10 to 14 days, the microfilariae mature to the infective larval stage within the mosquito. After that, the mosquito bites another dog, cat, or other susceptible animal, and the infective larvae enter through the bite wounds. It then takes a little over six months for the infective larvae to mature into adult worms. In dogs, the worms may live for up to seven years.”

Signs of heartworm disease in your pet,

this is a silent disease in the early stages, your pet may only show the occasional cough, as they progress they will get a more persistent cough, intolerant to exercise, a lack of stamina, then as the disease takes hold they will get a constant cough, weight loss, weakness, fainting, rapid heartbeat and laboured breathing.

If your dog has any of these symptoms it would be best to talk to your vet, a simple blood test can tell if your pet has the disease

How should you start this preventative treatment? Make a visit to your vet for a quick and easy blood test to determine if your pet has heartworms. Your vet will then recommend a heartworm medicine that is right for your pet. There are several forms the medication comes in such as tablets, topical applications, meaty chews and the yearly injection. Deciding to give your pet this simple monthly medicine or yearly injection will be one of the best things you can ever do to protect your pet and help keep him healthy.


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