How You Can Protect Your Dog in Honor of National Heartworm Prevention Month
This month is National Heartworm Awareness Month. The peak of mosquito season will be here before we know it, making now a great opportunity to learn how to protect your four-legged best friend. Our veterinarians supply heartworm preventatives in Carmel at VetCheck Pet Urgent Care Center and can help you give your pup the healthy, parasite-free life they deserve. Read on to learn more.
Heartworm Disease in Dogs
Heartworm disease occurs when a dog or another animal is bitten by an infected mosquito. The heartworms live inside the lungs, heart, and blood vessels of the host, where they grow up to 12 inches in length and can cause irreparable organ distress. When left untreated, the worms grow and breed continuously, leading to additional complications, including poor general health and, in many cases, a reduced lifespan.
Heartworm disease can cause a multitude of symptoms, including:
- Persistent cough
- Fatigue, especially after exercise
- Weight loss
- Reduced appetite
- Bloated abdomen
- Light-colored gums
- Labored breathing or shortness of breath
Protecting Your Dog from Heartworm
Heartworm is not easy to treat and causes permanent organ damage. Preventing heartworm disease is a much better choice than trying to treat it. Heartworm prevention medications are available in a few forms, including chewable pills, topicals, and injectable medications.
According to the American Heartworm Society, you should keep your canine companion on medication to prevent heartworm year-round, even when mosquitos aren't prevalent. Annual heartworm testing is crucial for dogs, too. While extremely effective, no preventative offers 100% guaranteed protection. Having your dog tested annually gives their veterinarian to detect and begin treatment for infections in their early stages when they are most treatable.
Protect Your Dog with Heartworm Prevention in Carmel
Choose VetCheck Pet Urgent Care Center for safe and effective heartworm prevention in Carmel. Our vets will help you determine which type of medication is most suitable for your pet and perform testing to help your four-legged best friend enjoy a long, healthy, and happy life. Reach out to us today to schedule your furry friend's appointment.