You may have heard of heartworms and know they're dangerous, but what are they? They are a dangerous parasite that can cause the death of pets. If a pet gets heartworm, there are possible treatments, but they take a long time, are extremely expensive, and they can be tough on pets to go through. It's better for everyone if you prevent heartworm instead of trying to treat them later. If you are in Indianapolis, IN, your pet needs to see a veterinarian for heartworm prevention medication. Call Avalon Animal Clinic for an appointment and safeguard your pet's health.
How Heartworms Are Spread
Cats, dogs, and certain other mammals are susceptible to getting heartworms. These parasites are spread to pets through bites from infected mosquitos. They can take the larvae of heartworms and transfer them from themselves to your pet's bloodstream. Once there, these larvae mature into worms, and they get very long. Cats aren't the ideal host that dogs are, and the worms don't generally live long enough to become adults.
For dogs, heartworms can live long enough to reach adulthood and get into both the lungs and the heart. When a dog gets heartworms, the worms survive until they lay eggs, and these hatch into even more worms. They can grow to become 12" long within the dog. While there are treatments available for dogs, there are none for cats. If a cat gets heartworms, the focus is on keeping them comfortable.
It's far less expensive and much safer if your pet takes heartworm prevention medication instead of developing heartworms. There are a number of effective preventative medications that you can give to your pet to prevent these worms from taking hold. Many are chewable "treats" that pets love to take. The vet may also prescribe a topical medication to prevent them from getting to your pet.
To get the prevention medication, your pet has to have a test for heartworms and be found to not have them. Then, the veterinarian can decide on the best prevention medication for your pet. Sometimes, this is a medication that also prevents ticks for even more protection.
See Our Veterinarian in Indianapolis
Your pet needs regular health exams and should be tested for heartworms if they aren't already on the prevention medication. If you don't get this testing and your pet isn't on this medication, they take a risk of getting these deadly parasites. If you are in Indianapolis, IN, make your appointment at Avalon Animal Clinic at (317) 842-4618, and get the testing and medication that is needed for your pet's health.