Heartworms are parasites that can invade the heart and lungs of both cats and dogs, leading to life-threatening problems or death. Fortunately, treatment measures are available to prevent this dangerous health problem. At Bridgwater Veterinary Hospital and Wellness Centre, we provide testing, treatment, and prevention of heartworm disease.
What Is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworms are parasitic worms that are transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. The mosquito feeds on an infected animal, and then transmits the microfilariae to the next animal it bites. These tiny worms travel through the animal’s bloodstream to the heart and lungs, where they grow and multiply, affecting the function of the heart and lungs. Without treatment, the disease can be fatal to the dog or cat.
Prevention and Treatment of Heartworm Disease in Dogs
Because dogs are a natural host for heartworms, the worms can easily live, grow, and reproduce in them. You may not notice any symptoms in the early stages, but eventually, the worms will cause difficulty breathing, coughing, reluctance to exercise, or cardiovascular collapse for your pet. Treatment for heartworm disease can be lengthy and expensive, consisting of enforced rest, heartworm medications, antibiotics, and cortisone drugs. Medications to prevent heartworms are available by prescription through your veterinarian. These drugs come in two forms: an oral form given once every month and an injectable form that protects your pet for six months.
Prevention and Treatment of Heartworm Disease in Cats
Cats are not a natural host for heartworms, but they can get heartworm disease. Indoor cats are not immune from heartworm disease because mosquitoes can get into your home. Symptoms of heartworm disease in cats include frequent coughing, vomiting, lethargy, and depression. Your vet in Winnipeg can test your pet for heartworm disease and administer treatment if your animal is found to have heartworms. Heartworm treatment for cats involves supportive treatment and follow-up visits. Heartworm prevention medication is safe and effective for cats and is available through your veterinarian.
Heartworm Treatment is Available at Our Veterinary Hospital in Winnipeg
Our veterinarians and staff at Bridgwater Veterinary Hospital and Wellness Centre are committed to providing individualized, quality care for all their patients in Winnipeg, MB, and surrounding areas. We offer a broad range of services for pets, including vaccinations, dental care, microchipping, wellness exams, dermatology, urgent care, and emergency care. Call Bridgwater Veterinary Hospital and Wellness Centre today at 204-452-0911 for an appointment to have your pet tested and to learn about current medications that can prevent heartworm disease.