Heartworm is not spread directly from dog to dog, but via mosquitoes. It may take a number of years for dogs to show signs of infestation.
Adult worms cause disease by clogging the heart and major blood vessels. This can lead to a reduction in blood supply to vital organs and subsequent organ dysfunction.
Young worms (microfilariae) tend to block the smaller blood vessels and may cause vascular disease.
a soft, dry, chronic cough
swelling of the abdomen
shortness of breath and reluctance to exercise
lethargy or listlessness
just not doing well’.
Unfortunately some dogs do not show any signs. In these animals the only sign may be sudden death.
In the majority of cases, heartworm can be diagnosed by a simple blood test performed by your veterinarian. Depending on the severity of signs, other tests include:
a complete blood count and biochemistry to assess organ function
chest X-rays (radiographs) to assess the impact of heartworm on the heart and lungs
These tests are important in determining the severity of heartworm disease and for planning treatment.
Because heartworm disease is a life-threatening condition and can be challenging to treat, prevention is vital for the wellbeing of your dog. As heartworm has a complex life cycle and is spread by mosquitoes that are ubiquitous in the environment, year-round/seasonal prevention is essential
At Sherbourne Animal Hospital, we recommend seasonal or year-round topical medication depending on pet’s traveling agenda.
You never have to worry about the risk exposure to heartworm.
Your dog only requires a simple, easy treatment once a month.
You could easily change medication should a reaction occurs or efficiency of the product decrease.
Contact us to discuss a tailored heartworm prevention program for your dog.