Heartworms

June 2018

Cassidy Medders, Veterinary Assistant

Year round, a tiny killer of man’s best friend attacks without being seen or heard. This silent killer can take the life of all dogs, if they are not protected. The small assailants are filarial worms, commonly known as heartworms. Heartworms are parasites that live inside a dog’s heart and are spread by mosquitos. A mosquito carrying the heartworm larvae bites a dog, releasing the larvae into the bloodstream. The larvae migrate to the heart where they begin to grow and reproduce, causing disease in the dog’s heart and lungs. This process can take up to six months. Symptoms a furry companion might show when infected with heartworm disease can include a dry cough, weight loss, difficulty breathing, becoming lethargic and/or death. Prevention of this disease is available in a variety of forms. To get your pet protected, a Veterinarian must first do a small blood test to make sure they are heartworm negative. Once this is established, you have the option to choose a medication that is best for your lifestyle. Heartworm prevention comes in different categories, including topicals, chews, shots, and tablets; a few examples of these medications are Proheart, Trifexis, Iverheart, and Interceptor. There is no time to wait! The murderous attacker strikes as soon as the prey is vulnerable. Get your dogs protected now!