Heartworms

Heartworms

What are Heartworms?

Heartworms are an internal parasite which can infect both cats and dogs. Unlike other worms, which are spread through contact with waste products, heartworms are spread via mosquito bites from an infected host animal. As the worms grow, they migrate to the heart where adults live and reproduce, sending larvae into the bloodstream.

What do Heartworms do?

Heartworms live inside the tissue of the heart and lungs, causing serious damage and scarring. Due to their size, they can clog the valves of the heart, putting even more strain on this vital organ.

What can we do to prevent heartworms?

Before starting on heartworm prevention, your pet should have a simple blood test to make sure they are free from heartworm to begin with, as they could have a reaction to the medication. Allergic reactions can have effects ranging from hives and facial swelling to seizures and shock.

Preventative measures come in several forms. Puppies and kittens that take a monthly allwormer from the time they have their first vaccinations are protected until six months of age. Then, we can look at different preventative measures, such as the yearly heartworm injection for dogs, monthly tablets for cats and spot-on treatments for both.

At the Ark Veterinary Hospital, we can put together a plan to suit you and your pet’s needs from a range of products.

Milpro is a quarterly tablet used to protect your furry friend against intestinal worms, but can prevent heartworm when taken monthly.

The Pro-Heart SR12 injection is an annual preventative which gives 12 months protection from heartworm disease in one dose. For convenience it can be given with your dog’s yearly vaccinations.

Other brands include Revolution, Advocate and Nexgard. Not sure which to use? The team at the Ark will be happy to discuss options for you and your pet, as well as order in stock for you.

If you want to know more about heartworm prevention call with our friendly team at 02 9416 1300 or book an appointment online.

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