Heartworm Prevention Tips with Your Scarssdale Veterinarian
The team at Central Animal Hospital is committed to providing a full range of comprehensive pet wellness services to help meet the need of every animal who walks through our doors. And of all the services we provide, heartworm prevention may be one of the most crucial. Why? Because heartworms themselves can cause such serious complications for your pet. Read on to learn more.
The Dangers of Heartworms
Heartworms are quite literally worms. They spread via mosquitos in their larval stage, and once in the bloodstream, they can grow in the blood vessels of the hearts and lungs of the infected animal. It takes about six months for heartworms to mature inside dogs, and can live in canines for up to 7 years (and up to 2 to 3 years in cats).
Heartworms, which can grow by the hundreds inside a dog, can grow up to 12 inches! Symptoms may include:
- A persistent cough
- Decreased tolerance to or interest in exercise
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
Advanced cases of heartworm disease in dogs can lead to distended abdomen, organ failure, collapse, and death. When and if heartworms do affect cats, the first symptom, sadly, is often sudden collapse and death.
Helpful Heartworm Prevention Tips from our Westchester County Veterinary Team
The number one way to prevent heartworms is to give your dog (or cat) routine preventive medication. It's usually just a simple pill you give: every month, on time, all year long...yes, even in winter! You just never know when a heartworm-carrying mosquito could be lurking. At our Westchester County veterinary clinic, we remind our pet parents that you should never give your cat medication intended for a dog (and vice versa), and that if your dog's weight changes you should let our team know, since a different dosage may be required.
Other ways to prevent heartworms is to keep your yard tidy, inspect your animal when she comes in from the outdoors, and take your pet in to our vet for routine screening and testing.
Of course, even with preventive medication, it's impossible to completely eliminate an animal's risk for contracting heartworms. If this is the case, our staff can provide heartworm treatment that will depend on the severity of your animal's infestation. Treatment may include intravenous fluids, steroids, and antibiotics.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Scarsdale Veterinarian Today
Don't let a preventable illness strike your beloved pet. Let our Scarsdale veterinarian team help your animal get the most out of life! Contact Central Animal Hospital at 914-723-1250. Our facility is accredited with the reputable American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the nation's gold standard of veterinary care certification.