National Heartworm Awareness Month: What You Need to Know
Did you know that April is National Heartworm Awareness Month? With summer fast approaching, there has never been a better opportunity to familiarize yourself with this potentially deadly illness and educate yourself on how you can safeguard your furry friend. At Orting Animal Hospital, we supply heartworm prevention in Orting and can help you give your dog the healthy, disease-free life they deserve. Keep scrolling to find out more about heartworm and how to prevent it.
Heartworm Disease in Dogs
Heartworm disease is caused by heartworms transmitted via mosquito bites. The worms live in the host's heart, blood vessels, and lungs, where they reach up to 12 inches in length and cause irreparable organ distress. When heartworm disease is not treated, the parasites continue to grow and reproduce, leading to additional problems, like poor health and, in many situations, early death.
The symptoms of heartworm disease in dogs include:
- Persistent cough
- Fatigue, especially after exercise
- Unexplained weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Bloated abdomen
- Light-colored gums
- Labored breathing
Protecting Your Dog from Heartworm
Heartworm is very hard to treat. And even with treatment, the damage it leaves behind is usually permanent. Preventing the disease is a much better choice than attempting to treat it. Heartworm prevention medications are readily available in numerous forms, including chewable pills, injectable medications, and topicals.
The American Heartworm Society suggests keeping your canine companion on a heartworm preventative medication year-round, even when mosquitos aren't prevalent. Annual testing is also important for dogs, even those on heartworm preventatives. While preventatives are highly effective, dogs can still contract heartworm disease. Once-a-year testing allows vets to begin treatment immediately if heartworms are detected.
Protect Your Dog with Heartworm Prevention in Orting
If your dog needs safe and effective heartworm prevention in Orting, let us lend a paw. Our veterinarians will help you decide which medication is right for your beloved pet and perform heartworm testing to help your canine companion live a long, healthy, and happy life free from these nasty parasites. Reach out to us today to schedule your furry friend's appointment.
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