with our Veterinarian in Maple Heights
The thought of internal parasites taking up residence in your pet's body is enough to upset any pet owner -- and among these parasitic infestations, heartworm may be the most feared of all. This invasion of your pet's heart and lungs by long, thin worms can lead to serious organ damage and even death. If you're worried that your pet might have heartworm or you want to keep him from getting heartworm, then you need to schedule the necessary care from our veterinarian in Maple Heights OH, Dr. Ochterski.
What Is Heartworm?
A heartworm isn't a worm when it first enters your pet's body -- it's a larva injected into the bloodstream by the bite of an infested mosquito. Multiple larvae may then head for your pet's heart and lungs to grow into elongated adult worms. Dogs can end up with hundreds of these worms, which interfere with organ function and cause breathing problems, heart failure, loss of appetite and loss of stamina. It may take several years for an effected dog to develop cardiopulmonary failure. Cats are much less likely to get heartworm, hosting only a few worms at a time. But when these worms die, they can cause inflammatory reactions that may result in severe respiratory issues or even sudden death.
Treatment and Prevention
It's easier to prevent heartworm than it is to treat the condition. Our veterinarian in Maple Heights will first give your pet a combination of drugs to kill the adult worms and antibiotics (to protect against the bacteria these worms may contain). Once the dead worms have been absorbed by the body, a second round of treatment kills any immature heartworms. Unfortunately, cats cannot receive this kind of treatment due to the toxic effects of the worms' deaths. In the most severe cases, risky surgery to remove adult worms from cats may be possible.
Preventative medication can help your pet avoid these issues. We can place your pet on a preventative program that kills heartworms along with other types of worms. (Some of these products even protect against fleas and ticks). Most heartworm drugs are oral or topical products that must be administered every month. But this small amount of effort is more than worth it when you consider the alternatives.
Let Suburban Veterinary Clinic Protect Your Pet Against Heartworm
Don't let a case of heartworm cause heartbreak within your family. Call Suburban Veterinary Clinic today at (216) 662-6117 to learn more about our heartworm treatment and prevention services. We want to help your best friend live a long, happy, and worm-free life!