What Is Heartworm.
As the name suggests, heartworm is a serious and potentially deadly disease characterised by large parasitic worms, that cause infestation of the pulmonary arteries of the heart.
As a result, the heart is forced to pump extra hard to keep blood flowing, which can lead to heart failure. The disease can also severely damage other parts of the body, such as the liver and kidneys. It affects many types of animals, including domestic and feral dogs and cats, dingoes, foxes and ferrets.
How do pets get Heartworm ?
Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes. Just one bite could infect your pet. At least 60 species of mosquitoes transmit heartworm disease- when they bite an infected animal, they suck the blood filled with microfilaria (1st stage larvae) , which then develop into a 2nd stage larvae inside the mosquito. That same infected mosquito can go onto infect a healthy new pet with this larvae which develop in adults over a 6 month period. Heartworm is more common in tropical climates but it has spread to all states of Australia.
What happens if my pet get’s heartworm ?
We can test for heartworm in dogs and cats, but usually blood tests will not detect infection until the worms have matured into adults, about six months after the initial infection. You usually don’t see any symptoms until infection has advanced. Treatment is expensive and difficult, and often requires hospitalisation, and harsh drugs and surgery to kill the adult heartworm. If heartworm is left untreated in your pet , risk of death is high.
Symptoms in dogs
* A dry chronic cough * Lethargy / Fainting * Weight loss
* Breathing problems and difficulty with exercise
* Ascites ( where the abdomen swells due to fluid build up because the heart cant pump normally )
Symptoms in cats
* Coughing * Gagging * Raspy breathing * Vomiting
How do I prevent heartworm ?
Heartworm can be prevented by either monthly tablets, topical applications or by annual injections. There are a range of monthly treatments available but we recommend annual injections for compliance as missing monthly treatments can introduce an infection to your pet.
ASK YOUR VET ABOUT OUR YEARLY HEARTWORM INJECTION OR MONTHLY PREVENTIVES.
Take advantage of our discounted heartworm injection for your 12 week puppy for $45.
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