Heartland Animal Hospital Blog
Heartworm can have devastating consequences for your pet, including death. It is especially tragic when dogs and cats succumb to heartworm disease when it’s entirely preventable. Now that warm weather is finally here, your dog or cat has a much greater likelihood of acquiring heartworm just by being outside since the most common route of transmission is a bite from an infected mosquito. However, pets can pick up the heartworm parasite any time of year. This is the reason we recommend year-round heartworm protection at Heartland Animal Hospital.
Heartworm Prevention and Testing
Although it's more common for dogs to get heartworm disease because they make an ideal host and typically spend more time outdoors, it’s important to understand that cats get heartworm as well. Unfortunately, for our feline friends no effective heartworm treatment exists for cats who test positive.
Puppies should start preventive medication for heartworm by eight weeks old. While it isn’t necessary to test puppies that young before starting on a product, puppies over six months old do require testing. Puppies and dogs need only one simple blood test to determine the presence of heartworm. Similarly, cats should be started on a heartworm preventive once they are eight weeks old.
Common Signs of Heartworm Infestation
When dogs acquire heartworm, the parasite usually lives in the heart and the right ventricle. This produces the following types of symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
It’s also possible that your pet won’t show any indication of heartworm even when he has them. Sadly, the first indication of heartworm in some pets can be sudden collapse and death. All pets should have year-round heartworm protection, even those who never go outside. It’s too easy for mosquitoes to get into your home and infect them.
If you suspect that your dog or cat has heartworm based on these symptoms, please schedule an appointment at Heartland Animal Hospital right away. We will complete testing and discuss treatment options if results come back positive.
It’s Easier to Prevent Heartworm Than Treat It
We’re happy to let you know that we carry many heartworm prevention products in our clinic. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you would like a recommendation on the most effective product for your pet. You can schedule an appointment by calling our clinic at Faribault: 507-332-0716 and Owatonna: 507-214-7387.
The week of October 17-23 is wonder-fur! Why are we so excited? It’s National Veterinary Technician Week! And we love taking the opportunity to celebrate the hardworking veterinary technicians that make our practice the special place that it is. Are you curious about how our vet techs are vital to the care of your pet when you walk through our doors? Here are 3 reasons we love our vet tech and why you should, too!
It crosses every pet owner’s mind: “Is my pet in pain?” And this question comes up more and more as our pets get older. One of the most difficult things about being a pet owner is that our pets cannot verbalize how they’re feeling. This leads us to wonder if our dogs and cats are living their best lives. The last thing you want is your pet struggling with chronic or acute pain, after all. And while your pet will likely never learn to speak human, they often send more subtle signs that they’re in pain. Here are 3 of the most common signs that your pet is in pain:
Cats are wonderful pets; in fact, over 25% of US households share their home with a feline companion, according to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association). They’re cute, cuddly, comical, and provide delightful companionship! But there are some things you will want to keep in mind to keep your cat's health in tip-top shape. Since August 22 is National Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day, we're sharing 5 habits that positively impact the health of your cat!