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.
What 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.
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.
“They go above and beyond for you and your furry family members.”- Lisa T.
“Dr. Jernigan first off, is the best vet ever. All the staff in the front and in the back. They give complete compassionate care to every animal. They are winners!”- Kathleen C.
“Staff, doctors, receptionists all first class. Nothing more important to me than my dogs, cats, and horses. So fortunate to have this place near me.”- Nancy M.