Keeping a preventative eye on heart worm disease
Jessie, top dog: Oh, the dreaded heart worm tablet. Groan. I took one last month. Do I have to take another one?
Bolt, the adorable Yorkie-Poo: You know, I never really liked taking those things, either, but after my recent visit to the vet to get all of my annual shots, she told me that if I did not take the monthly heartworm preventative, the risks of contracting this potentially fatal disease are greatly increased. Did you know that it only takes one heart-worm carrying mosquito to infect a pet? Adult heartworms can actually survive in dogs for up to seven years and in cats for a few months or up to several years.
Even if your pet is taking the monthly heartworm preventative, it is important to have your vet check him annually. There have been reported cases of a pet contracting heartworm disease even when taking the monthly prevention measures. Conventional treatment for dogs that contract heartworm includes several expensive visits to the vet for x-rays, blood tests, and injections. Not fun. It is estimated that 95% of dogs diagnosed with this disease are successfully treated.
The common signs of heartworm disease are a persistent cough, sudden weight loss, weakness, and difficulty in breathing. Please immediately consult your vet if your pet displays any of these symptoms, and please be sure to have your pet visit his veterinarian regularly for preventative measures. There are some topical medications that provide protection from heartworms, fleas and ear mites.
The experts of Joy of Living Pet Sitting Services in Kansas City will be happy to help you find a local veterinarian for your pet.