What Is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworms are one of the most dangerous parasites for both dogs and cats. Heartworm infection takes place when a mosquito carrying microscopic-sized heartworm larvae bites your pet. The larvae enter through the bite wound where they develop in the tissues. The immature worms then enter a blood vessel and are carried to the arteries in the heart and lungs.
How Do I Know If My Pet Has Heartworms?
The only way to know without question if your pet has been infected with heartworms is through a blood test. Heartworm testing is done as a part of your pet’s annual wellness exam, even if your pet is already on a heartworm preventive.
Some pets will display clinical signs of the disease (this varies between species). Most pets do not display clinical signs until the diseased has critically progressed; therefore, it is important to start prevention as soon as 8 weeks of age.
How Can I Keep My Pets Safe From Heartworms?
All heartworm medications are FDA drugs that require a prescription. Annual heartworm testing is required for all dogs to refill their prescriptions. All heartworm tests require a blood sample.
It only takes one mosquito to infect your pet. Remember, mosquitoes can travel indoors so both indoor and outdoor pets are at risk and should receive monthly heartworm prevention year round.
Heartworm disease is harmful and can be fatal, but is very preventable.
For dogs we recommend:
- ProHeart® (1 vaccine that provides 6 months of protection!)
For cats we recommend:
Please talk to any of our receptionists, technicians, or vets to determine the prevention that is best for you and your pets!
- Heartgard® is a once a month chewable tablet for dogs. Heartgard prevents heartworm, roundworm, and hookworm. It is dosed by weight and is available for dogs over 6 weeks.
- Interceptor® is a chewable tablet for dogs and cats. It is given once monthly to prevent heartworm, roundworm, hookworm and whipworm. It is dosed by weight and available for dogs and cats over 4 weeks.
- Revolution® is a topical flea and heartworm prevention for dogs and cats. It is dosed by the weight of your pet, and is available for dogs over 6 weeks of age, and cats over 8 weeks. Revolution also prevents ticks in dogs, and helps prevent roundworm and hookworm infestations in cats.
- Sentinel® is a pill for dogs that kills flea eggs, and prevents heartworms, roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. Sentinel does not kill or repel adult fleas. Sentinel is dosed by weight, and available for dogs over 11 weeks.
- ProHeart® is one injection that lasts for 6 months of heartworm protection. It also provides treatment for hookworm infections.