Heartworms in Dogs & Cats

Heartworms in Dogs & Cats

Living in the south can be pesky for our fur legged family members!  There are critters & bugs usually all year round.  One of those pesky bugs are the very familiar mosquito.  

Mosquitos are known for transmitting heartworms in your beloved pet.  Whether your pet is inside or outside, they are at risk of getting heartworms.  Mosquitos can easily get inside, as well as being around the yard while your pet uses the restroom.

Heartworm disease can occur to your dog or cat if they are bit by an infected mosquito.  Mature heartworms can live within your dogs for up to seven years and up to three years in cats.  Once infected, dogs and cats experience different symptoms with heartworm disease.  

Dogs can experience persistent coughing and tire easily after mild to moderate exercise.  As damage from the heartworms continue, a dog's blood flow may be disrupted and cause heart failure.  Dogs may also suddenly die if a large number of heartworms are blocking the flow of the blood to the heart.

Cats can experience heartworm-associated respiratory disease, HARD, which involves coughing, wheezing, respiratory distress, and sometimes sudden death.  

Thankfully there is a way to protect your pet against heartworm disease.  Annual Veterinarian visits is the best place to start.  They can perform a heartworm test by drawing a small sample of blood.  The test results are done within 20 minutes.  Depending on the age of your pet and the test results, your Veterinarian will determine which is the best preventative or treatment option for your pet.

Preventative is the best way to protect your pet against heartworm disease.  Being that mosquitos are around year round in the south, preventative year round will be the best option to protect your dog or cat against heartworm disease.   


Heartworm Disease in Dogs