Protect Your Furry Friend's Heart:

The Vital Importance of Heartworm Prevention

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:

Coughing
Lethargy
Difficulty breathing
Weight loss
In severe cases, heart failure & death

Cats can also be infected with heartworms, but their symptoms are often more subtle and can include:

Vomiting
Weight loss
Respiratory problems
Heartworm Diagram
The good news is that

Heartworm diseases is preventable

There are a variety of heartworm prevention products available, including:

Monthly pills
Topical treatments
Injections

We can help you choose the best option for your pet based on their age, health status, and lifestyle.

Heartworm prevention
Other Steps you can take to

Reduce your pet's risk of infection

1
Avoiding mosquito bites: Mosquitoes are the primary vector for Heartworm disease, so minimizing your pet's exposure to mosquitoes can help reduce their risk of infection. This can include using mosquito repellents, keeping your pet indoors during peak mosquito hours, and eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed.
2
Regular veterinary check-ups: Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are important for monitoring your pet's overall health and detecting any signs of Heartworm disease early on.
3
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle: Keeping your pet at a healthy weight, providing regular exercise, and feeding a balanced diet can all help support their immune system and reduce their risk of infection.

Highest rates found in the Southeast

Heartworm infection in the US

Georgia ranked Top 10 states in the US for Heartworm disease

heartworm in microscope
Preventing heartworm disease starts with

testing to detect any existing infections

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.

Heartworm Prevention:

A Cost-Effective Alternative to Costly Treatment

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.

Countryside Graphic - Cost of Heartworm prevention vs treatment
Why Does My Pet Need

Flea & Tick Prevention?

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.

dog's skin showing flea bites
Prevention

Frequently Asked Questions

1
My dog only goes in my yard and doesn't go outside much, do I still need prevention?
Unfortunately, even if your pet stays in....the mosquitoes don't stay out. Just one bite from an infected mosquito could potentially infect your pet. Fleas and ticks can also infest your pets and cause dangerous diseases such as lyme disease. Preventing infestations is the best treatment for your pet.
2
How do I choose the right type of prevention for my pet?
At your pet's annual check up, your veterinarian will discuss the best options for you and your ​pet. Depending on your pet's lifestyle, you can choose from a variety of options for total protection from heartworms, fleas, and ticks. Our selection of products includes beef flavored chews, topical applications, collars, and injectable options.
3
How much will this cost?
​Always check your inbox and mailbox for our seasonal specials & rebates offered by manufacturers. In addition to those, we also offer a 20% off Wellness Pays discount when you purchase 6 months or more of prevention at your pet's annual wellness visit. Our clinic provides the following products: Trifexis, Seresto, Nexgard, Sentinel, Simparica, Heartgard & Proheart.
If you have questions about making the right choice for flea, tick, and Heartworm prevention,
give us a call at (770) 788-7387.
From the Blog

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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.

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