At Animal Hospital of Loves Park, our experienced and dedicated vet provides prevention and treatment plans for heartworm; this serious parasite is very common in dogs, but it can also affect cats. Specifically, heartworm refers to a parasite that quite literally grows and lived in the heart. If left undiagnosed and untreated, this parasite can become fatal by causing anything from lung disease to heart failure. If your pet is not already on a heartworm prevention regimen, now is the time to talk to our vet.
The Importance of Heartworm Prevention
Protecting your pet from heartworm is so important, regardless of whether you have a dog or cat. All breeds of dogs and cats can become affected by heartworm. Most of the time, infection occurs when a pet is bitten by a mosquito or other insect that is carrying heartworm. Once the infection occurs, it can spread very quickly. For this reason, preventing heartworm from reaching your pet is your best course of action.
There are plenty of heartworm prevention options, and our veterinarian would be happy to make a recommendation if you're not sure which will be best for your pet's needs. Most often, we recommend heartworm prevention in the form of a monthly pill. You can administer this pill to your pet whole or crush it up and put it into your pet's favorite food. Many of these heartworm prevention pills also protect against other pests, such as fleas and ticks.
How is Heartworm Treated?
If it turns out that your pet already has heartworm, prompt treatment is extremely important in protecting your pet's health and wellness. In most cases, we can prescribe a medication that will kill off the infection, though depending on the severity of your pet's heartworm, it could take several controlled doses of this medication to completely eradicate the infection. During treatment, your pet will need to be brought back into our office for frequent monitoring until we can be sure that your pet is free of heartworm.
Schedule an Appointment With Our Loves Park Vet Today
No pet should ever have to deal with heartworm; if your pet is not currently on a heartworm prevention medication, now is a great time to schedule an appointment with our Loves Park vet. Give us a call at 815-986-4445 to get started!