Heartworm Prevention

When they bite, mosquitoes can transmit heartworm infection. And those heartworms can wreak havoc on your dog or cat. These parasites can severely and sometimes fatally damage the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Some pets may not show any signs of infection; in those that do, symptoms can vary widely.

  • In dogs, signs of heartworm disease can range from coughing, fatigue, and weight loss to difficulty breathing and a swollen abdomen (caused by fluid accumulation from heart failure).
  • Canine heartworm infection can also lead to a life-threatening complication called “caval syndrome” (a form of liver failure)
  • Caval Syndrom usually causes death without prompt surgical intervention
  • Although often thought to not be susceptible to heartworm infection, cats can indeed get heartworms
  • Even one or two adult heartworms in a cat can cause serious problems
  • Cats can suffer from a syndrome referred to as heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARD)
  • Symptoms of heartworm in cats can be subtle and may mimic those of asthma or allergic bronchitis
  • Signs of heatworm infection in cats include respiratory distress, such as rapid or difficult breathing, wheezing, and panting
  • Other symptoms in cats include coughing, vomiting (typically unrelated to eating), and loss of appetite or weight
  • There is no approved treatment for cats
  • Some cats spontaneously rid themselves of the infection; others might not survive it
  • Heartworm infection is more difficult to diagnose in cats than it is in dogs
  • Treatment for heartworm infection is far more expensive than prevention—and it can actually kill your dog
  • Administering monthly heartworm prevention can keep your dog or cat safe
  • Most heartworm medications also protect your pet against other parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, ear mites, fleas, and ticks
  • We can recommend a regimen of prevention for your pet.