Heartworm disease is a deadly but preventable disease.
Mosquitoes are the carriers of heartworms. In San Antonio, mosquito season is year-round! When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it carries the microfilariae, or baby heartworms to the next victim, either a cat or a dog. The worms then mature in the animal. Once grown, it migrates to the heart and begins to reproduce.
In dogs, symptoms include exercise intolerance, chronic cough, weight loss, or in severe cases, bloated abdomen and swollen paws. By the time these symptoms exist, the dog already has many adult heartworms present.
Cats do not tolerate heartworms well. In most cases, even one heartworm can cause severe symptoms. These symptoms include chronic cough, but in some cases can cause sudden death! Heartworms in cats are hard to detect. There is no known treatment for cats. The best thing to do is to keep your cat on a heartworm preventative. Even indoor cats can be bitten by a mosquito.
Revolution is a topical medication applied directly to the skin once a month. When absorbed, it prevents not only heartworms but also intestinal parasites, fleas, and ear mites. No other product on the market can do this. Ask about Revolution at your next appointment.
Heartworm disease in dogs can be successfully treated, but it can be costly and tough on your dog. The best solution is preventative measures. There is a quick snap test to check for heartworms in dogs. All we need is just a few drops of blood. Because dogs can carry up to hundreds of heartworms, it is recommended that they are tested before beginning a heartworm regiment.
Sentinel is an oral medication that when taken once a month prevents not only heartworms but also intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms. Sentinel is also known to break up the flea life cycle by preventing reproduction, thus eliminating further generations of fleas.
To learn more about heartworms, or to start your pet on preventative, call us at (210) 822-5211 to set up an appointment. You may also set up an appointment online by clicking on the link below.
For more information, you can also contact The American Heartworm Society at
www.heartwormsociety.org then click on Pet Owner Resources
The photos used in this newsletter as well as the incident map below have been provided by The American Heartworm Society