Heartworm disease affects thousands of dogs and cats across Texas and the surrounding states every year. Mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of heartworms, as they carry heartworm larvae. When left untreated, the larvae grow into worm-like parasites and reside in the affected animal’s heart and lungs.
Symptoms and Treatment for Heartworms
Heartworms can only be detected through extensive physical examinations and advanced bloodwork, so an animal can be infected for several months before heartworms are detected. Pets may begin showing signs of heartworms after a few months of becoming infected. Some warning signs of heartworm disease to look out for include:
- Abnormal lung sounds
- Intolerance to exercise
- Weight loss
- Periodic vomiting
- Fluid accumulation in the abdomen
Additionally, heartworm disease can cause sudden death. It should also be noted that while dogs can be treated for heartworm disease, there is no known cure for cats. For these reasons, it is extremely important that you take all necessary preventative measures. Luckily, there a few simple measures pet owners can take to prevent heartworm disease, including preventative medication that can be administered orally or topically. Make sure to talk with the veterinarians at Mercy to find out which heartworm medication is right for your pet.
If you have any questions or concerns about heartworm disease or heartworm prevention, do not hesitate to give the vets at Mercy a call.