Is it dangerous to let heartworm disease go untreated? The simple answer is yes. Unfortunately, this common disease can lead to problems like heart failure, lung disease, organ damage, and death. Domestic pets that can contract heartworm disease include dogs, cats, and ferrets. As with many diseases, it is easier to prevent heartworm disease in the first place, than treat more serious issues down the road.
What Is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworm disease occurs through the transmission of a parasitic worm found in mosquitos. Once infected, a pet plays host as the parasite matures and multiplies. Heartworm disease symptoms include coughing, weight loss, coughing, difficulty breathing, and a swollen abdomen. Our veterinarian at Deltona Animal Medical Center uses a blood test to see if a pet is positive for heartworm proteins.
What Can You Do About It?
There are preventative medications to help a pet avoid contracting heartworm disease. However, our team also suggests annual heartworm testing. As dogs, cats, and ferrets can be exposed to a range of parasites like heartworms, roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms, it is useful to get regular testing and checkups from our experienced veterinarian.
As a pet owner is often the first to notice behavior changes, be on the lookout for heartworm symptoms. This continues to be important even after any preventative heartworm treatments.
What About Heartworm Disease Treatment?
If a cat, dog, or ferret ends up having heartworm disease, it is time to consider treatment. This can include multiple visits, blood work, and injections. The good news is that there are medications to eliminate heartworms. In addition to injections, there are also topically-applied alternatives.
Prevention is the best course of action for new and experienced pet owners. Heartworm disease treatment is often more expensive and can result in complications, depending on a pet’s tolerance for certain treatments and the extent of any related illness. Speak with our veterinarian about both heartworm disease prevention and treatment at Deltona Animal Medical Center.
Keep Your Pet Parasite Free
New pet owners may not be sure of the signs of heartworm disease. They may also want to learn more about prevention. Our veterinarians at Deltona Animal Medical Center can guide pet owners on the most effective methods of prevention of heartworm disease in domestic pets, with options like Heartgard, Sentinel, and Simparica Pro. Parasite control and vaccinations are a couple of ways our team helps keep pets healthy.
Book your appointment to maintain your pet’s wellness today!