Quail Hollow Veterinary Hospital Offers Treatment and Prevention of Heartworms
Heartworm disease is a common infection that can affect both dogs and cats. This disease can cause severe debilitation or eventual death. At Quail Hollow Veterinary Hospital, we offer preventative care to protect your pet from heartworms and treatment when heartworm disease occurs.
What Are Heartworms?
Heartworms start as tiny microfilaria that are transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. The microscopic worms then travel to the heart or lungs of an animal where they grow and reproduce, causing negative effects to the host animal.
Dogs are natural hosts for heartworms, as they can mature, mate, and produce in dogs than cats. Only a few worms can survive in cats, but can still cause damage to the respiratory system. A blood test and several other tests can detect the presence of worms in an animal.
Symptoms of Heartworm Infection
Canines may not show any signs in the early stages of the disease. However, when the worms have begun to reproduce, you may notice a persistent cough, fatigue after normal activity, loss of appetite, or weight loss. Excess fluid in the abdomen may cause swelling of the animal’s belly. A sudden blockage of blood flow to the heart may occur as well. Cats may exhibit signs of coughing, labored breathing, poor appetite, vomiting, or lack of energy.
Treatment of Heartworm Disease
Dogs with heartworm disease are forced to rest and are given heartworm medication to eliminate the worms, antibiotics to prevent infection, and corticosteroid drugs to reduce inflammation. There is no specific treatment for heartworm disease in cats. Cortisone medication and supportive care can help cats resist the effects of the infection.
Prevention of Heartworms
You can ensure that your pet is protected against heartworm disease with regular testing and administration of heartworm medications. These drugs can be given in a monthly oral tablet or an injectable form that protects your animal for up to six months. Your veterinarian can advise you on the best type of heartworm medication for your pet’s needs.
Don’t Delay Preventative Care for Your Pet
Dr. Berman, Dr. Whitlark, and Dr. Ritter offer heartworm diagnoses, treatment, and prevention for their patients in Charlotte, NC, and surrounding communities at every stage of life. We offer many services at our animal hospital, including exams, vaccinations, dental care, preventative care, diagnosis, surgery, and emergency care. Call our veterinary team at Quail Hollow Veterinary Hospital today at 704-278-8000 for an appointment to have your pet tested for heartworms, or to learn about prevention medication that can help your dog or cat avoid this disease