Heartworms are a parasite that grows and lives inside the heart and pulmonary artery. Heartworms mainly attack dogs but can also affect cats. A simple bite from a mosquito can lead to your pet being infected with heartworms. That's why it is crucial to protect your pet from heartworms by bringing him or her to us at Ina Road Animal Hospital in Tucson. We can help your pet with heartworm prevention and treat the disease in the unfortunate case that your pet does get it.
Symptoms of Heartworms
If your cat or dog is infected with heartworms, he or she may become extremely lethargic. You will notice that basic things like walking to the food and drink bowl are challenging for your pet. The more time the heartworms have been in the pet's system, the harder it is for that pet to breathe. Extreme weight loss is another obvious sign. Your pet's appetite declines as the condition worsens, causing excessive weight loss in a short amount of time. Your cat or dog's heartworm symptoms can be hard to tell with the naked eye. That's why it is essential to get your pet checked out by our experienced team.
Proper treatment for heartworms cannot be done at home. It takes our veterinarian's help to prescribe the right type of medication to kill off adult and juvenile worms. Both kinds of worms require different treatment. Blood tests and X-rays may be needed to better understand the severity of your pet's heartworms. In extreme cases, an operation may be required. Heartworm treatment can be costly and have detrimental long-term effects for your pet. It's better for both you and your cat or dog that you prevent heartworms from ever being an issue.
Prevention of heartworms is never 100%. The best route is to ensure that your pet has regular check-up appointments with our team. Typically, this involves a simple blood test performed once a year during your pets’ normal annual wellness exam. This allows our veterinarians to detect juvenile heartworms within your pet's blood and prescribe the right protocols to kill them off before they become adults.
Heartworm preventives for your cat or dog may be monthly chewable pills or topical medications. Most current heartworm preventative medications protect pets from heartworms as well as some intestinal parasites. Our team will work with you and your pet to find the right preventative medicine.
Contact Us for Prevention and Treatment in Tucson, AZ
We hope that your dog or cat never has to deal with heartworms. That's why our team is here to provide quality preventative treatment for your pet. Here at Ina Road Animal Hospital, we help our patients suffering from heartworms with expert medical attention. Whether your pet needs an annual exam or animal urgent care, our team is here for both of you. Contact us today to see how we can help your pet stay safe from heartworms.