Protect your pet from heartworm disease

Heartworm disease can have devastating health effects on your pet. When it comes to heartworm disease, prevention is the best treatment. Avoiding heartworm disease consists of monthly preventative treatments and an annual heartworm screening test. At 5 Points Animal Hospital, your pet’s health is our top priority. We want to help you understand what heartworm disease is and what you can do to help keep your pet safe from heartworm disease.


What are Heartworms?sick German Shepard with doctors hand


Heartworms are parasites that are transmitted by mosquitoes when they bite your dog. When a mosquito bites your dog, it transfers heartworm larvae into your dog’s bloodstream. Once this happens the larvae will grow until they reach adult stage approximately seven months later. The adult heartworms will then move to your dog’s heart and lungs, where they will reproduce quickly, compromising your dog’s pulmonary system. Initially, there are no symptoms of the disease, but once the lungs and heart are infected, your dog may develop a cough, raspy breathing, and they will become winded easily when taken out for a walk. If not treated, heartworm disease, also known as dirofilariasis, is potentially fatal.  Some infected pets show no signs of heartworm disease.


Heartworm disease has been recorded in all 50 states, so there is nowhere in the United States where you can avoid this parasite. That’s why, no matter where you live, it is important to protect your pet from heartworm disease.


Preventative Treatment


It is impossible to tell if a mosquito is carrying the heartworm parasite. The best option for your pet is preventative care. This is done by giving your pet heartworm preventative every 30 days and making sure that your pet receives an annual wellness checkup and annual heartworm screening test. Because heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal illness, we at 5 Points Animal Hospital strongly recommend bringing your dog in for annual heartworm testing to ensure that your pet is free of the disease. The American Heartworm Association also recommends that pets be tested annually for heartworm disease even if they are on monthly heartworm preventative.


It is our goal at 5 Points Animal Hospital to help you to provide the best care possible for your pet.  Please ask your pet’s veterinarian which heartworm preventative would be right for your pet.

Our online pharmacy can be helpful for providing heartworm prevention that will protect your pet from heartworm disease.  You may also purchase your pet’s heartworm prevention in the clinic.

Please protect your dog from heartworm disease. If you have questions about heartworm disease or prevention or to schedule a wellness exam or heartworm testing call us today at 615-750-2377. We look forward to helping you protect your pet!

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Protect your pet from heartworm disease

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