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Posted on 07-19-2018

Protecting Your Pet from Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is caused by internal parasites that collect in the blood vessels, heart, lungs, and other major organs. These worms cause many problems simply by their sheer numbers, which can grow to a point that the lungs or circulatory systems become clogged.

young girl with her dog on a leash

As many know, heartworms are spread by mosquitoes. The insects pick them up as microfilariae, which are the pre-larval stage of the worms. Then, the worms develop into larvae inside the mosquito and are passed on to the next hosts as the mosquito bites these animals. When the bitten animal is a dog (or sometimes, a cat), heartworm disease develops.

How to Protect Your Pet From Heartworms

The best way to protect a pet from getting heartworm disease is to give it preventive veterinary medicine. Today's medications typically need to be given just once a month, and they typically come in a treat-like form that dogs will readily accept. Medications for dogs often protect against other internal parasites. Some even offer flea and tick prevention effects as well.

Cat parasite prevention requires different medications since this species can be harmed by some of the compounds given to dogs. Always be sure to get a prescription that is specific to them instead of sharing out meds meant for your canines.

Prior to Getting a Heartworm Prevention Prescription

Before a prescription is given to dogs, a blood test is done to make sure that they aren't already infected. This ensures that if they are, they are given the appropriate heartworm treatment. It is dangerous to give preventive medication to an already-infected animal.

The blood test isn't as sensitive with cats, but the chance of a cat being infected is also much lower. Therefore, the veterinarian may believe that it's fine to go ahead and medicate cats if there aren't any overt symptoms of heartworm disease.

Call Bloom Plaza Animal Hospital in San Jose Today!

To get the medications your pets need to prevent heartworm and other parasites during this mosquito season, just make an appointment with us here at Bloom Plaza Animal Hospital in San Jose. We'll be happy to help all of your companions stay healthy.

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