Protect Your Pup: The Dangers of Heartworm in Dogs

Protect Your Pup: The Dangers of Heartworm in Dogs

As dog owners, we go to great lengths to keep our furry companions safe and healthy. However, there’s one hidden danger that often goes unnoticed until it’s too late: heartworm disease. This insidious condition, caused by parasitic worms that invade a dog’s heart, can have devastating consequences if left untreated. Let’s dive into what heartworm is, how dogs can become infected, and why prevention is absolutely crucial.

Understanding Heartworm Disease In Pets

Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a serious and potentially fatal disease that primarily affects dogs, though cats and other mammals can also be affected. These parasites are transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes. When a mosquito carrying heartworm larvae bites a dog, the larvae are deposited onto the skin and enter the dog’s bloodstream. Over several months, the larvae mature into long worms that can reach the heart and lungs, causing severe damage.

Understanding Heartworm Disease In Pets

Early stages of heartworm infection may not exhibit noticeable symptoms, making detection challenging. As the disease progresses, dogs may show signs such as:

• coughing

• lethargy

• difficulty breathing

• weight loss

• heart failure & death (in severe cases)

It’s important to note that treatment for heartworm disease is not only complex but costly. Treatment involves multiple injections and strict rest protocols to prevent complications. Unfortunately, the mortality rate for untreated cases is high, highlighting the critical need for prevention.

The Importance of Heartworm Prevention For Our Pets

Preventing heartworm disease is far easier and less expensive than treating it. Monthly preventive medications, available as chewable tablets or topical treatments, are highly effective at protecting dogs from heartworm infection. These medications work by killing the immature larvae before they can mature into adult worms. Most Veterinarians now also offer long term options, such as injections that prevent for 6 months up to a year.
During Heartworm Awareness Month, many veterinary clinics offer special promotions on heartworm prevention. I encourage all dog owners to inquire with their veterinarian about these promotions and ensure their pets are protected year-round.

Protect Your Pet: Schedule Preventive Care with Us This Heartworm Awareness Month

For pet owners in San Diego and nearby cities, Companion Animal Health & Rehabilitation Center is a trusted resource for comprehensive veterinary care. Our clinic not only offers state-of-the-art rehabilitation services but specializes in preventive medicine, including heartworm prevention. This Heartworm Awareness Month, book an appointment with our experienced team to discuss your pet’s preventive care needs. Ask us about our specials, so we can ensure you get the best deal on prevention!