Heartworm is a parasitic infection that can cause respiratory distress, organ damage, and other serious health problems. While it can occur in many animals, the condition is especially common in dogs. Since heartworm disease can be fatal, you shouldn't wait to get your pet treatment. Your pet can get the care it needs at Caring Hands Veterinary Clinic in Philadelphia, PA.
Preventing Heartworm Disease
Preventing heartworm infection in pets is an essential aspect of pet health care. Thankfully, there are several ways to prevent heartworm in pets, such as:
- Monthly Preventatives: These are medications that are given to pets monthly to prevent heartworm infections. This is the most common method of heartworm prevention.
- Mosquito control: Mosquitoes are the primary vectors of heartworm, so reducing their population in and around your home can help prevent heartworm infection in pets. Keeping pets indoors can also help reduce their exposure to mosquitoes.
- Annual Testing: Even if you're giving your pet heartworm preventatives, it's important to have an annual heartworm test done to confirm your pet is not infected. If your pet does have heartworm disease, it needs treatment as soon as possible.
Signs of Heartworm
Symptoms of heartworm infection in pets can vary depending on the stage of the infection and the number of worms present in the animal's body. In the early stages of infection, there may be no signs of heartworm disease. However, as the infection progresses, the following signs may develop:
- Coughing: A persistent cough is one of the most common signs of heartworm infection in dogs.
- Weight loss: Pets with heartworm disease may lose weight due to the increased energy demands of the body as it fights the infection.
- Respiratory distress: Heartworm infections can make it difficult for pets to breathe. This can cause pets to wheeze or breathe at a rapid pace.
- Distended abdomen: When a pet has heartworm disease, it can cause fluid to accumulate in the chest and abdomen. When the condition progresses, this symptom may be visible.
- Collapsing: Pets with advanced heartworm disease may collapse due to heart failure.
It's important to note that not all animals will show the same signs or symptoms. In some cases, an animal can be asymptomatic while carrying the disease. If you suspect that your pet may have heartworm disease, it is important to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Get Heartworm Treatment from Our Veterinarian in Philadelphia, PA
Make sure you're taking the risk of heartworm disease seriously. At Caring Hands Veterinary Clinic, we can help you reduce the risk of heartworm and provide treatment if your pet is infected. Call our team today at (215) 621-8959 to learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Thomas.