Heartworms are a nearly ever-present threat to your beloved pet’s health and well-being. That is especially true if your pet is a dog because dogs suffer about 90 percent of all heartworm infestations. Cats can also suffer from heartworms, but they are far less vulnerable to heartworms, especially once they reach adulthood. Our heartworm services at Highlands Animal Hospital in Sebastian, FL, can help your pet overcome a heartworm infestation and live a long, happy, and healthy life.
Heartworm Disease Destroys Body Organs
Heartworms generally look like long, loose strands of spaghetti looped in circles while occupying and destroying hearts, lungs, and other organs in dogs and some cats. Heartworms are found in all 50 states but mostly affect dogs located along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and throughout the Mississippi River and its tributary rivers and streams. Mosquitos primarily spread heartworms to dogs, some young cats, and even ferrets. The supply of local standing water provides ideal breeding grounds for mosquito populations, which in turn enable heartworms to thrive.
Dogs Are Natural Heartworm Hosts
Heartworms can live inside dogs within the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and produce offspring that eventually multiply. Although it can spread via mosquito bites in a kind of larval stage, heartworm disease is not contagious from one dog to the next. Only mosquitoes make it possible to transmit the disease from one animal to another. Once heartworms are living in your pet, these pests can live up to seven years and number in the hundreds.
Heartworm Prevention Is the Best Solution
If your beloved pet is infected with heartworms, your veterinarian can begin treatment to get rid of the pests. When caught early via blood testing, your veterinarian can use an arsenic-laced drug to kill the infestation and save your pet. More advanced stages often require risky surgical procedures and often result in death even when treated. That makes heartworm prevention and early detection the best defense.
Make Sure Your Dog Is Protected
If you are concerned that your dog or other pet may be afflicted with heartworms, we can help. Call Highlands Animal Hospital in Sebastian, FL, at (772) 388-1883 to ensure your pet gets the best diagnosis and treatment for heartworm disease. Our professional veterinary staff has many years of experience helping local families to protect their beloved best friends against heartworm disease in a locale that is susceptible to mosquitos and heartworm infestation.