What is heartworm?
Canine heartworm disease is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis which lives in the hearts of dogs. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes between dogs.
How can my dog be infected?
The immature worms (larvae) enter your small friend through a mosquito bite. They are carried into the bloodstream and settle in the heart. Here they grow into adult worms (up to 30cm long) and can cause life threatening heart failure and death.
How can I prevent heartworm?
Heartworm can be easily prevented by giving your dog a monthly tablet. Alternatively, we also offer a once-a-year injection, which can be given at the same time as your small friend’s annual health check and vaccination. Heartworm prevention needs to be tailored to your dog’s age and heartworm status and a simple blood test may be required prior to starting on heartworm preventatives. You can discuss heartworm prevention with one of our vets at your next visit to Small Friends Veterinary Hospital.
What if I have missed a dose?
If you have missed a dose there is a chance that your small friend could have acquired heartworm and may need a heartworm test and it is best to discuss this situation with one of our staff members. Call Small Friends Veterinary Hospital on 02 6262 2233.
What about cats?
Cats can also get heartworm, but is very rare. Therefore here at Small Friends Veterinary Hospital we do not recommend regular heartworm prevention in cats.
If you wish to discuss your small friend‘s specific heartworm prevention requirements, please drop in to Small Friends Veterinary Hospital or call on 02 6262 2233.
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