Heartworm Prevention with our Kirkland Veterinarian
Heartworm disease is an extremely serious and potentially fatal disease in pets. The disease is caused by foot-long worms that thrive in your pet’s heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets. Heartworm disease can cause heart failure, severe lung disease and damage to other organs in their body. Heartworm disease can affect both cats and dogs and in rare instances-even humans. The good news is that with just a simple trip to our veterinarian in Kirkland, heartworm prevention is possible.
Heartworm Disease in Dogs
Dogs are a natural host for heartworms, meaning that heartworms living inside the dog will mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. If veterinary treatment is avoided, the numbers will increase (dogs can harbor several hundred worms in their body).
Heartworm disease can cause lasting damage to the dog’s heart, lungs, and arteries and will affect the dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, heartworm prevention from your vet at the animal hospital is by far the best option and treatment. When treatment is needed, it should be administered by the vet as early in the disease course as possible.
Heartworm Disease in Cats
Heartworm disease in cats is much different than heartworm disease in dogs. Cats are an atypical host for heartworms and the majority of worms in cats will not survive to the adult stage. A cat affected with heartworms typically only has one to three worms and generally no adults.
Unfortunately, this means the disease often goes undiagnosed in cats, so it is essential to understand that even immature worms can cause serious damage, including heartworm associated respiratory disease. However, medication used to treat dogs for heartworm infections cannot be used in cats, so the only means of protecting cats against the disease is prevention.
Tips for Heartworm Prevention
The most important way to prevent heartworms in your pet is to get them vaccinated. Heartworm disease is contracted through mosquito bites, so the primary form of prevention is to protect your pet from the risk of bites. There are several things you can do to prevent the risk of heartworm disease and to prevent mosquito infestations:
- Stay up to date on heartworm vaccinations
- Remove any standing water from your yard, including in areas, such as tops of trash cans, toys, and gardening equipment.
- Check window screens for holes and caulk any small holes and crevices that mosquitoes can enter your home through.
- There are products your vet may recommend for preventing heartworm infection, most of which are chew tabs that you can put in your pet’s food.
- Veterinary treatment is generally used to get rid of the parasites and to prevent further infestation in your pet.
Visit Our Kirkland Veterinarian To Schedule Your Pet's Heartworm Vaccination
Contact Finn Hill Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for your pet’s vaccination against heartworm disease. The best way to prevent heartworm disease is with prevention with help from our Kirkland veterinarian. Call us at 425-814-2220!