Heartworm disease is a life-threatening illness that is spread through the bite of a mosquito. Once an animal is infected, worms begin to live and reproduce in the blood of the dog or cat’s heart and adjacent blood vessels. Over time, these worms begin to clog the heart and major blood vessels. They may also interfere with the valve action of the heart, causing impaired lung function, heart weakness, and, if left untreated, congestive heart failure and death.
Once infected, treatment is available; however, it is risky and expensive. The medicine used to treat heartworm disease can be potentially toxic to your pet and may result in serious complications such as blood clots in the lungs.
The best defense against heartworm disease is prevention. We recommend year-round heartworm prevention for all dogs. Heartworm prevention should be given to your pet on the same day every month.
We will start your pet on heartworm and flea preventative when they are in for their puppy vaccinations. Your dog will not get its first heartworm test until they receive their first set of annual adult vaccines. This is because the blood test can only detect adult heartworms, which take five to six months to reach their adult form.