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Posted on 09-08-2017
Heartworm prevention is one of the most important things you can do to protect the health of your dog or cat. Our veterinarian in Sarasota and Parrish treats many animals with this serious disease and helps people protect their pets from the dangers of heartworm disease.
Dogs are natural hosts to heartworms, which mean that heartworms living inside dogs can mature and reproduce; an affected dog can have hundreds of heartworms inside its body. While cats can become infected with heartworms, cats are not natural hosts so many worms do not live long enough to reproduce. Infected cats may have only one or two heartworms, but these heartworms can still cause lung disease. Moreover, the heartworm treatments that work in dogs do not work in cats, so heartworm prevention is essential for cats.
Heartworm disease mostly affects dogs, cats and ferrets, but can live in other mammals, including wolves, foxes and coyotes. Heartworm rarely affects humans.
Mosquitoes carry baby heartworms from an infected animal to an uninfected animal. These baby heartworms then mature and reproduce in the host animal.
Heartworm disease is serious and can be fatal. Heartworms can grow up to a foot in length. They live inside the infected animal’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Left untreated, heartworms can cause severe lung disease and heart failure. Heartworms can also damage other organs in the body.
Take your pet in for routine checkups, usually every 6 to 12 months. Our vet can look for signs of heartworm disease and suggest treatment as necessary. Keep your pet inside during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. Reduce mosquito breeding grounds by removing standing water.
Ask our veterinarian in Sarasota and Parrish about monthly medications that protect your pet from heartworm.
To protect your pet from heartworm disease, or for other veterinary services for your dog or cat, make an appointment with Dr. Nina's Animal Hospital. We offer heartworm prevention and treatment for pets. Make your appointment with our veterinarian in Sarasota or Parrish today by calling (941) 366-1222.
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