What is Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a common and potentially fatal disease that occurs in pets. Heartworms are little worms that live in the lungs and heart of the infected animal and cause heart failure and organ damage. No pet owner wants to find that their furry family member is suffering from these awful little worms. For heartworms, there is treatment available as well as preventatives that you can give to your pet. Read on to learn more about heartworms and what you as a pet owner can do to prevent them.

Heartworms in Dogs

Dogs unfortunately are a natural and common host for heartworms. Dogs left untreated can have heartworms reproduce and increase drastically. This can lead to fatal results. Furthermore, a dog treated for heartworms can still have lasting damage to their heart and lungs. Your dog will likely need to be monitored long after the worms have made an exit. These worms can shorten a dog’s life even after they have gone. Heartworm prevention and treatments are vital for dog owners. It is best to check with your vet and have them tested and treated as early as possible.

Heartworms in Cats

Heartworms in cats differ from heartworms in dogs. They cannot survive very long inside of a cat. If the worms do survive to adulthood, there are usually not very many to deal with. Even though heartworms are not as common or as concerning for cats, it is still important to note that heartworm larva can still cause some damage to a cats body. Heartworm associated respiratory disease is a risk for cats with heartworms. Because heartworm treatment for dogs cannot be used for cats, it is best to use preventative treatments for your cat to avoid heartworms altogether.

Because heartworms are not something to be taken lightly, pet owners should take their dogs and cats in to be checked so they can be treated as early as possible. If your pet does not have heartworms, it is best to get a heartworm preventative from your vet. For more information on heartworms and what you can do to prevent or treat them, contact Highland Veterinary and make an appointment today!