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springtimeHeartworm Prevention

Warm weather brings mosquitos! And with them the threat of heartworm for our pets. And it is not just dangerous for dogs but also cats can get heartworms! The problem for cats: more difficult to diagnose and impossible to treat. So prevention for cats is even more important!

Nevertheless, dogs are still the most vulnerable and as the saying goes: prevention is better than cure.

Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and we can’t avoid them. By giving a monthly prevention, which kills the young heartworm stages in the dog the day you give it (it works “backwards” so to say), we can prevent this lethal disease where dogs die slowly of heart failure.
Fortunately we can treat dogs with heartworm infection and get rid of the worms, but if the damage to the heart and lung vessels is too advanced, we can’t reverse it.

The treatment is expensive, painful and the dog has to be crated/kenneled for 2 months during the treatment. No exercise allowed!

To start a dog on prevention we need to do the following:

Dogs under 6 months can be started without a heartworm test, because they were born after the last season. But because they are still growing and their weight changes, we need to see them at the end of every month for a weight check to dispense the right strength of prevention.

It also means we have seen your pet for his annual wellness exam to legally dispense the prevention which is a prescription drug.

Dogs over 6 months should get a heartworm test before starting the new season:

  • They only qualify for the manufacturer’s warranty if they get tested every year before starting the prevention.
  • Some prevention can be dangerous if given to a dog who already has heartworm disease, which can happen despite prevention or if some of the prevention last year was not given properly.
  • As stated above, heartworm infection is treatable, but the damage is not reversible. And because a blood test 6 months after the last prevention given is the earliest time to detect the infection, no damage has been done yet and we can cure the dog!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADifferent forms of prevention are available:

  • Monthly tablet, flavored, which treats intestinal worms also, very important if the dog has contact with children
  • Monthly flavoured tablet with heartworm, flea & tick, and intestinal worm prevention all in one
  • Monthly topical, applied on the skin, which treats intestinal worms and also prevents flea infestations
  • One injection in spring which prevents heartworm disease for the full season (only for full grown dogs)

Ask Us about the Best Prevention for Your Pet (Dogs and Cats!)

And See Us for the Heartworm Test with Your Dog Now!

Call 482-5720 to Make Your Appointment.