Since we are talking about parasites lately, lets talk about one of the worst of them all, Heartworm. Heartworm is not your classic intestinal parasite, in fact, it does not use the intestinal tract to do its damage at all. Heartworms move through the bloodstream and make themselves at home in the heart of their host where they grow and multiply. Here, they can obstruct the heart valves that allow an animal to live, destroy the vessels around the heart and break off small pieces that behave like blood clots and cause havoc in your pet’s body. Even more frightening, heartworms get into their host with a single mosquito bite from a mosquito that fed on an infected animal. Check out the facts below for how to protect your pets!
- You cannot see heartworm disease until your pet is in critical condition. Heartworms do not appear in feces and your pet’s symptoms make be subtle, such as an occasional cough or decreased energy during playing until their condition is so severe their heart begins to fail.
- Cat and dogs (and ferrets) are infested by heartworms.
- No pet is safe unless on prevention. Inside pets are at risk too! Studies revealed that one in four of infected cats were indoor only cats. Mosquitos do not discriminate on the host they bite, and fences do not stop mosquitos.
- Heartworm is here! Kansas is showing an increase in heartworm infestations and we had a positive case in our clinic last week.
- 10 years of year-round heartworm prevention plus annual heartworm testing costs LESS than treating a pet for heartworm disease one time (and is a lot safer). Think about that the next time you decline a heartworm test and prevention for your pet!