Heartworm disease is a serious but preventable disease caused by parasitic worms living in the arteries of the lungs and occasionally in the right side of the heart of dogs, cats, and other species of mammals. Dogs and cats of any age or breed are susceptible to infection, and infection rates are very high in our region of the country.
Heartworms can be transmitted to your pet by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes transmit tiny, microscopic immature heartworms when they bite. These parasites migrate to the heart and lungs of your pet where they mature and reproduce. Dogs are most commonly affected but cats may also acquire heartworms. If left untreated, heartworms may eventually lead to heart failure and death. The good news is that heartworm disease is preventable.
The best way to insure that your cat or dog stays heartworm free is to:
- Get an annual blood test to be sure your pet is not already infected with heartworms; and
- Use regular heartworm preventive medication.
We will discuss the heartworm prevention products with you at your pet’s annual preventative exam and will help you decide on the product that is best suited for your pet. If you have questions, just give us a call at 407-833-8868.