Are you familiar with the health conditions common in big dogs? Your large breed dog may be at increased risk of developing one or more of these conditions.View Article
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Part of preventive care for your pet should include heartworm testing and prevention. Heartworms can make your pet very sick and can even result in death. At Winter Garden Animal Hospital, we provide heartworm testing and preventive medications to keep your pet from getting heartworms, as well as treatment for heartworms if the animal acquires the disease.
Heartworms are microscopic worms that can be transmitted to pets by mosquitoes. The mosquito bites an infected animal and then carries the larvae to another animal. The larvae are carried through blood vessels to the heart and lungs and reproduce. Early in the disease stages, you may not notice symptoms. However, once the worms become established, you may notice a number of effects that undermine your pet’s health. Both cats and dogs can get heartworms.
In the early stages, there may not be any symptoms. However, over time, the heartworms reproduce and grow larger, causing negative effects on the animal’s body. They may develop a persistent cough. They may tire easily and seem less inclined to exercise. They may have difficulty breathing. Once the worms are established, treatment becomes more complicated, with successive doses of medication and imposed rest for the animal. Currently, there is no effective treatment regime for cats. This is why veterinarians strongly recommend preventive medication for both cats and dogs.
Your Winter Garden veterinarian will give your cat or dog a heartworm test, which requires taking some blood from the animal. If there are no worms present, the vet will discuss preventive medications that can prevent your pet from acquiring heartworms. If the test is positive, your veterinarian will discuss treatment options with you to eliminate the worms and get your pet back to health. Early veterinary intervention is important to prevent long-lasting health problems from heartworms. Treatment can be expensive, and it is not always successful. Preventive medications are an inexpensive and effective measure for preventing heartworm disease.
Dr. Lauren Prather and her team love animals and are dedicated to providing quality care for all their patients in Winter Garden, FL and surrounding communities. We offer examinations, preventive care, surgical services, dental care, allergy care, and boarding. Call Winter Garden Animal Hospital today at 407-656-4132 for an appointment to learn more about heartworm prevention and treatment that will keep your pet healthy.