Both cats and dogs can be victims of heartworm, often picked up by mosquitos. Once inside the pet, the parasite migrates within the bloodstream and begins to feed off the animal. The parasite can also spread through an infected animal's feces as well to other pets. With a serious infestation, heartworms can block the circulatory function inside a dog or cat, clogging up the heart and killing the animal slowly. That's why our team here at Radford Animal Hospital is here to keep your pet well protected against heartworms.
The more challenging problem with heartworm is that solutions and treatments are extremely limited, unlike flea treatment or tick prevention. For most smaller animals like cats, heartworms are outright fatal. For dogs and cats, medical treatment via a specific pharmaceutical has been the primary means, which is not a cure either. Instead, the specific drug helps control the spread of the heartworm in the infected pet, essentially prolonging the pet's life that would otherwise die quickly from the infection.
Annual checkups with our vets are essential for catching heartworms early on to prevent serious issues from occurring. Dogs tend to be the biggest target for heartworm because their larger body mass attracts mosquitos more than cats. Additionally, many breeds have fur that is thinner than a cat, making it easier for the insect to find a place to bite. Also, due to their size, dogs can survive much longer with an infection without anyone knowing it. The heartworm parasite has more to work with inside a larger animal, infecting the lungs, heart, and other organs. Eventually, even the largest dogs will fall victim to heartworms if untreated.
Fortunately, heartworms can be effectively prevented before they become a serious problem in your animal. Simple preventative drugs effectively kill the parasites before they mature into adults. Essentially, preventative medicine makes the dog's body toxic for heartworms to grow and develop. At your pet's next consultation, we can ensure your animal is on the right preventative medications to prevent heartworms from negatively affecting its health.
Contact Us for Parasite Prevention from Our Veterinary Team in Radford, VA
Radford Animal Hospital is available to help pets stay well protected against various types of parasites. Our team can effectively help treat and prevent parasite attacks by ticks, heartworms, and fleas for both cats and dogs. We maintain and prescribe the latest effective flea treatment and tick prevention, and our veterinary team is very experienced in preventing or addressing heartworms. If you need help with your pet and parasite prevention, give us a call or use our online form for an appointment. Our veterinary experts in Radford are ready to help you keep your pet healthy and happy. Contact us today to learn more about how our parasite prevention can help your pet live a long life with you.