Heartworm—Ft Lauderdale Top Vet Explains What You Need to Know to Save Your Pet
What is Heartworm?
Heartworm is a type of worm transmitted by mosquitoes that lives inside blood vessels of the lungs and the heart. It can be a very serious condition that in addition to the heart and lungs can also affect the central nervous system, liver, kidneys and eyes. If left untreated it can potentially be fatal to your pet
What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of heartworm disease can be difficult to detect. They may be very subtle at first and include:
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Lack of energy
As the worms increase so may the symptoms. It’s important to recognize them early on to prevent permanent damage or death.
Which pets are at the greatest risk?
Heartworm infections are increasing throughout the United States and are most prevalent in the southeast. Heartworm disease is more commonly thought of as a condition in dogs but can also affect cats bitten by a mosquito. Talk to your vet about how to mitigate the risks for your pet.
How is heartworm diagnosed?
There are simple blood tests that can usually diagnose heartworm quickly.
What can I do to prevent it?
ProHeart® 6 (moxidectin) is an injection that provides 6 full months of continuous heartworm protection in a single dose. One visit to our veterinary office can provide your pet with extended protection from heartworm disease. There are a number of other medications that treat and prevent heartworm in pets including pills, chewables and topical liquids. Those treatments generally need to be administered monthly and a missed dose could put your dog at risk for heartworm disease which is why we recommend ProHeart® 6 for many pets.