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3000 Roane State Hwy Harriman, TN 37748

imagesCARW3EZV.jpg Heartworm Disease imagesCARW3EZV.jpg

What is Heartworm Disease?

• A parasitic infection in the blood spread by mosquitoes. 
• Heartworm Disease is transmitted by a mosquito that feeds on an infected pet then bites an unaffected pet.
• Mosquitoes inject a larvae form of the parasite into the pet which then matures and migrates to the heart and lungs obstructing blood flow.

To better understand heartworms, watch this
Video of the Heartworm Life Cycle by the American Heartworm Society 

Signs of Heartworm Disease

• Weakness/ lethargy/ collapse
• Decreased ability to exercise
• Coughing
• Shortness of breath
• Weight loss
• Fluid buildup in abdomen

Many dogs will not show signs or symptoms until the late stages of heartworm disease when the parasite load is heavy and the heart is obstructed.

Prevention and Treatment
The American Heartworm Society recommends testing annually in conjunction with regular preventative. These recommendations for yearly heartworm testing are based on the fact that heartworm infection can cause serious damage to a dog's heart and can do so in a fairly short period of time.

  1. Even though currently available heartworm preventive medications are very effective, there is truly no medication which is able to claim 100% effectiveness.
  2. In addition, there may have been lapses in the monthly heartworm preventive treatment protocal if the owner forgot to give the medications for a month or two and did not realize this was the case.
  3. Some dogs can be quite adept in pretending to swallow medications which they actually have not swallowed.

The yearly heartworm test is a safety measure to protect the health of your dog.

Prevention is much easier than treatment, because most preventatives are given only once a month. 
• Treatment for dogs is very expensive and potentially toxic, requiring multiple visits to the veterinarian, blood-work and x-rays, and a series of injections. heartwormtreatment_dogincage.jpg
• Dogs will need to be closely monitored during treatment and for up to 24 hours after treatment. 
• Following treatment, dogs should have restricted exercise for up to six weeks, because active dogs are at risk for death form a clot in the lungs.

Types of Heartworm Prevention
• Available by prescription only
• Pets that are over 6 months of age must be tested before starting heartworm preventative to prevent dangerous reactions.
• Types of Heartworm Prevention

Trifexis   (click for more information)                         


Prevents Heartworms
Protects against Intestinal Parasites              
Kills Fleas        


Heartgard (click for more info)

Prevents Heartworms
Protects against Intestinal Parasites               

Heartworms have been found in all 50 states, according to the American Heartworm Society, but are more commonly found is some areas of the country than others.  Tennessee is one of the more prevalant areas, which can be seen by the dark color in the map below. 


  For more information about Heartworms and Heartworm Disease visit these sites.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us at 865-882-6327

FDA - Heartworm Prevention in Your Pet
American Heartworm Society

To recieve e-mail or text reminders to remember to give medications go to your

_btn_login_h_teal.JPGor RemindMyPet.com

Veterinary Topics