Heartworm Treatment and Prevention in Maple Heights
Heartworms can cause serious health problems, especially for dogs, when it is left untreated. Preventing heartworm in your pets helps lower this risk. Routine testing for this disease is also an essential part of your pet’s care. At Suburban Veterinary Clinic in Maple Heights, we can test your pets for heartworm and provide you with prevention services or treatment as needed.
Heartworm in Pets
Heartworm is a disease caused by the presence of worms in vital organs, including the heart and lungs. Mosquitoes transmit heartworms to dogs and cats when they bite. These worms start as larvae that grow into adults in roughly six months. When heartworms become adults, they can end up living inside dogs for up to seven years and in cats for up to three years.
Cats are not natural hosts for heartworms, so these worms typically die before becoming adults when a cat is infected. However, heartworm larvae can still cause health problems for cats that have this disease. These larvae can damage the lungs and other organs.
Dogs are considered natural hosts for heartworms, so these worms have a high chance of becoming adults when a dog is infected. These worms can rapidly increase in number when this disease goes untreated. As the worms move to other areas, they can affect the heart and other major organs. Symptoms can take years to show up and might be mild at first, such as coughing, fatigue, and a poor appetite. More severe symptoms, such as heart failure, can occur as this disease becomes more advanced over the years. Life-threatening complications that require immediate veterinary care can also occur.
Heartworm Treatment in Maple Heights
Routine tests can confirm if your pets have heartworm. For dogs with heartworm, treatment involves stabilizing this disease and administering medicine to kill these worms. Additional testing is needed to determine if treatment was successful. The medication used for dogs cannot be given for cats with heartworm. For cats, prevention is crucial for lowering the risk of heartworm disease, since treatment options are limited.
Heartworm prevention can significantly lower the risk of heartworm disease in your pets. Different forms of prevention are available, including pills or tablets, topical medication, and injections. Heartworm prevention medications require a prescription, and your pets will also need to be examined for heartworm before using these products. Testing helps prevent dangerous side effects from occurring with prevention medications if your pets already have heartworm disease.
Contact our Maple Heights Veterinary Clinic
If your pets need heartworm treatment or prevention, please contact Suburban Veterinary Clinic in Maple Heights for an appointment.