Heartworm Disease

The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt in Summerfield, NC Shares What to Know About Heartworm Disease

You love your pet, sometimes like a furry little family member. Unfortunately, your pet, especially your dog, is susceptible to a deadly parasite known as a heartworm. However, you can prevent heartworms by visiting the Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt, serving Summerfield, NC, and the surrounding area, to avoid a costly and complicated treatment process and to keep your pet healthy for years to come.

Veterinarian checking cat for heartworm diseaseWhat Is Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a condition that results from severe heart failure and lung disease from a parasitic worm known as Dirofilaria immitis, more commonly known as a heartworm. Although dogs acquire heartworms more than any more animal, it can occur in other species of animals, primarily ferrets and cats.

Your house pet acquires the worm from a bite from an affected mosquito. Once your pet gets bit, he or she has the worm inside of him or her. The worm grows and reproduces. As the condition progresses, your pet ends up with worms in his or her heart, lungs, and blood vessels in the surrounding region. Typically, your pet ends up with around 15 heartworms by the time the disease is detected. However, your canine or feline may have anywhere from one to 250 worms.

Signs and Symptoms of Heartworm Disease

Since a mosquito spreads the worm as a larva, your dog or cat may not have symptoms of heartworms for up to six months after the mosquito bite. It takes that long for the heartworm to mature into an adult and have the ability to reproduce.

Generally, the symptoms of heartworm disease are similar for cats and dogs. For instance, your pet might not have any symptoms or only a few in the early stages. As the disease progresses, your pet can develop a number of heart and lung-related symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, or other asthma-like symptoms. It's also possible your pet will experience vomiting, fatigue, appetite loss, or weight loss. In some instances in cats, the pet will faint, take seizures, have dark or bloody urine, or have an accumulation of fluid in his or her abdomen. Sudden death is possible as well.

Preventing Heartworm Disease

It's difficult to treat heartworm disease. Heartworm treatment can require surgery to remove the worms. In some instances, it's possible even with veterinary care that your pet won't make it. The best course of action is to prevent the problem before the disease begins. At our animal hospital, we offer heartworm prevention treatments that are safe and effective.

Contact The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt in Summerfield, NC Today!

For heartworm prevention, schedule an appointment with the Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt, serving Summerfield, NC, and the surrounding area, by calling (336) 643-2229 today.


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Feedback from our clients

  • "I have been taking my 16 year old lab, Oscar, to this vet since he came to me in 2004, and I wouldn't take any of my dogs anywhere else! They are so wonderful with both pets and people. I would recommend any of the doctors and staff to anyone."
    Erin H
  • "We have been going to another vet for years. We wanted to have our year old Wheaten Terrier, Rylee spayed by laparoscopy so she would have less pain and be back to her usual activity in 2-3 days instead of 10-14 days. Our vet does the traditional spay. We had a consult meet and greet with Dr. Courtney Pierce. She answered all our questions and so friendly and professional. They have a state of the art OR suite. Rylee did great. On post op day three she spotted a squirrel and did an all out chase with no ill effects! All the staff were great."
    Linda A
  • "I love Dr. Jernigan at AHLB and would never take my dog anywhere else! The staff is excellent with animals and always professional, courteous and respectful to owners. I have trusted this animal hospital for all of my dog's care, including check ups, surgeries (she's had three!) and for boarding when we have to go out of town. Every experience I have had here has been wonderful and I highly recommend their services to anyone looking for a veterinary office for their furry children!."
    Avery C