Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Your Pet Should Use Heartworm Preventative

Why do veterinarians and staff always recommend heartworm testing and prevention?  After all, have you ever seen it?  Maybe your pet has never had problems.  Why is it important for all pets?  Let's start at the beginning.

Heartworm disease is caused by a parasite that grows in the heart and lungs of dogs and cats.  This parasite is spread by mosquitoes, so every dog and cat is susceptible, even indoor cats.

Most infected pets show no signs at all, so it is important to test periodically.  For those dogs that do show signs, coughing and exercise intolerance are most common.  For cats, coughing and vomiting are the most common signs.  Both dogs and cats can also suddenly die because of heartworm disease.

IF your dog tests positive for heartworm, it can be treated.  However, treatment is much more expensive than a monthly preventative.  It is also more risky in terms of side effects.  There is no accepted treatment for cats that develop heartworm disease.

Thankfully, we have wonderful preventatives available.  Administering one preventive a month will keep your dogs and cats free of this terrible disease so they can live longer, happier lives.

Todd Whitney, DVM

1 comment:

Alvin said...

According to my opinion heartworm disease is completely preventable. A number of different products with excellent safety profiles are available. Tragically, some studies indicate that a minority of dogs and cats receive the preventatives as they should. Animals in the majority now are at even greater risk.
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