As the weather warms up and we start spending more time outside with our furry friends, it's important to remember that April is Heartworm Prevention Month. Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that can affect dogs and cats, and prevention is key to keeping your pets healthy and happy.
What is Heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up the larvae of the heartworm parasite. The mosquito then transmits the larvae to another animal when it bites again, where they migrate to the heart and lungs and can cause serious damage.
Symptoms of heartworm disease in dogs can include:
Cats can also be infected with heartworms, but their symptoms are often more subtle and can include:
There are a variety of heartworm prevention products available, including:
We can help you choose the best option for your pet based on their age, health status, and lifestyle.
Going just one month without heartworm prevention can leave a pet exposed and at risk for heartworms. Testing helps us determine if your pet can safely receive heartworm prevention, or if we need to treat an active infestation. Testing annually for Heartworms is our clinic policy, and the recommendation of the American Heartworm Society. It also allows us to report any breakthrough infections to the manufacturer should your pet need treatment.
Schedule your pet's heartworm screening. Call us at 770-788-7387 or request your appointment online.
The cost of heartworm prevention for dogs and cats can vary depending on the type of prevention, the size of the animal, and the frequency of administration. Generally, heartworm prevention medication can cost anywhere from $75 to $200 annually.
In comparison, the cost of heartworm treatment can be much higher and more complex. The treatment typically involves several visits to the veterinarian, blood tests, X-rays, and hospitalization. The cost of heartworm treatment can range from $500 to $2,500 or more, depending on the severity of the infection, the size of the animal, and the treatment protocol used.
Additionally, heartworm treatment can be very stressful for the animal, and the recovery period can be prolonged and challenging for both the pet and the owner. Therefore, it's essential to prioritize heartworm prevention to avoid the significant financial and emotional costs associated with treatment.
Fleas and ticks are not just irritating pests, they can also lead to serious skin conditions and other health issues. Fleas can infect your pet with intestinal parasites, while also causing the irritation of dermatitis. Ticks can also cause skin infections and are notorious carriers of serious diseases such as: Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis.
As many of our clients know, we love sharing our knowledge and important animal health news. Our blog contains valuable educational resources in one easy location.