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What Are Heartworms and Why Are They Such a Big Deal?

Whether you already have a canine family member, or you are planning to bring one into your home soon, you should think about heartworm prevention. Heartworms are best treated through prevention. This blog post will tell you more about this parasite and what you need to know to protect your animals,

What are heartworms?

As the name describes, heartworms are a type of worm. These worms can get up to a foot long and will make their way into your pet’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels. This will lead to problems such as lung disease, heart failure, and damage to your animals’ vital organs over time. 

How does heartworm disease happen?

Adult female heartworms living in an animal will produce baby worms that circulate in the blood of that animal. So, if a mosquito bites an infected animal, there will be heartworm larvae in their meal. When the mosquito bites another animal, those larvae are passed through that bite wound into the next animal’s bloodstream. It takes about 6 months for larvae to become adult heartworms and then they begin causing damage over a span of 2 to 7 years.

How can I prevent heartworm disease?

Preventing heartworm disease is far less costly and easier than treatment once your pet is infected. Options include chewable pills that are given monthly, injections given every 6 or 12 months, or topical medications. Some of these prevention options will also protect your pet from intestinal parasites or fleas and ticks. Your veterinarian can help you select the best option for your animal. 

Contact your veterinarian today with any questions or concerns you have about protecting your pet from heartworm disease.

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Monday
7:00am - 12:00pm,
2:00pm - 6:00pm
Tues, & Fri -
7:00am - 6:00pm
Wed & Thurs -
7:00am - 8:00pm
Sat & Sun - Closed