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Protect Your Dog or Cat from Heartworm Disease

Protect Your Dog or Cat From Heartworm Disease

Heartworms are easily preventable, but potentially fatal parasites. They commonly affect dogs and cats, but they can also infect ferrets and many wild mammals. If you have a pet, you can get preventative heartworm treatment at Atlas Animal Hospital and Emergency Vancouver.

What Are Heartworms

Heartworms are a type of roundworm. They are usually contracted from infected mosquitos. In dogs, they can complete their entire life cycle. They will migrate to the heart, lungs and blood vessels. If they aren’t treated, they can cause serious health problems and may lead to death. Once a dog contracts heartworms, they can multiply quickly in the body and grow to be up to a foot long.

Cats are not a good host for heartworms, and many won’t survive to the adult stage. However, there is no treatment for heartworms in cats. Heartworms can be deadly for cats, causing a respiratory disease known as Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease, or HARD.

Heartworm and Tick Prevention

Routine veterinary care can provide your pet with the medications needed for heartworm and tick prevention. Most preventatives are given once a month, either as a chewable tablet or a topical application. Some medications can provide both heartworm and tick prevention and as such, they are the preferred option.

Heartworm Treatment

What if, despite your best efforts, your pet contracts heartworms? If you have a dog, your veterinary provider can provide a heartworm treatment. Treatment will consist of injections to kill the adult heartworms, antibiotics, steroids, and a heartworm preventative. Your vet will perform tests at certain intervals to see if the treatment is effective. Your pet will also be placed on an exercise restriction for at least a few months. This means that they will not be allowed to perform excessive physical activity, including long walks or running.

The veterinary team at Atlas Animal Hospital and Emergency Vancouver are here to meet all your heartworm treatment needs. We can prescribe regular heartworm and tick prevention for your furry friend. Let us meet all your veterinary care needs, call us today.

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