Ensure Your Dog Is Safe from Heartworms

Heartworms are a specific type of roundworms that live in the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels of animals they infect, causing a dangerous illness called heartworm disease. This disease has the potential to be fatal and can cause permanent damage to the heart, lungs, as well as other organs of infected animals. Although it can be treated, the harm caused by the infection may be lasting.


How heartworm is spread

When a dog is bitten by a mosquito, it can get heartworm larvae which travel through its body and settle in the lungs and heart’s blood arteries. These larvae then turn into adult heartworms over a period of 6 months and can grow up to 12 inches long. As they multiply and release young heartworms into the dog’s blood, the cycle continues when the dog is bitten by another mosquito.


Diagnosing heartworm

It’s important to test your dog for heartworm every year since there aren’t many early signs of the illness. The sooner you detect the disease, the better chances for your dog’s recovery. A quick blood test can detect heartworms. If your dog shows symptoms such as coughing, lack of energy, and poor physical condition, they may have heartworm disease.


Preventing heartworm

To protect your dog from heartworm disease, it’s important to give them a heartworm preventative on the same day every month. You should also use a mosquito-repelling product to prevent your dog from getting bitten. During your dog’s yearly preventive care appointment, we will check for heartworms to make sure the preventative is working. Your dog may be at higher risk of heartworm infection if:

  • A dose of preventive medication was missed
  • A dose of preventive medication was given late
  • The preventive was spit out or vomited by the dog

Untreated heartworm infections can become more severe over time. Even after treatment, the presence of heartworms can still affect a dog’s health and overall well-being.

Call us if your dog needs a heartworm test or a yearly preventive care appointment, if you need a refill for their heartworm preventive, or if your puppy is displaying symptoms that might indicate a heartworm infection.