April is Heartworm Awareness Month
Let PetVet help you keep your pet healthy!
Did You Know?
Once mature, heartworms can live up to 7 years in a dog.
Treatment for dogs can cost MORE THAN 15 TIMES that of a year’s worth of preventive.
*Data provided by the American Heartworm Society.
April is Heartworm Awareness Month and is a great time to educate yourself about the affects heartworms have on pets, especially dogs. Heartworm disease has been found in all 50 states and should be taken seriously. We are here to help keep your pet healthy, happy and safe!
To help your dog get on a healthy track we are offering $12 heartworm tests with the purchase of 12 months of heartworm prevention medication. That’s a savings of $21!
Offer expires 4/30/18.
Origin of Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease begins to develop when a pet, mainly dogs, is bitten by an infected mosquito and microfilariae (very small worms) are released into the dog’s bloodstream. The larvae are then on a mission to make it to the heart and will develop in stages by way of the dog’s skin, circulatory system, and finally into the pulmonary arteries. Once the microfilariae has made it to the heart it will mate, which is approximately 6 months after the dog was first bitten by the infected mosquito. The heartworms begin to form now and treatment is imminent.
Symptoms of Heartworm Disease
• a soft, dry cough
• inactivity or lethargy
• weight loss or anorexia
• rapid or difficult breathing
• bulging chest
• allergic reaction
Testing of Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease can be detected in dogs with a simple blood test. The sample is sent to our lab for testing where they will look for the presence of heartworm protein to identify whether or not your dog is heartworm positive. Because heartworm disease progresses over time, the earlier you can catch it the better the chances are for your pet recovering. If your pet’s test results come back positive we will discuss the best next steps for you and your dog and recommend reaching out to a veterinarian immediately.
Treatment of Heartworm Disease
Most dogs infected with heartworm can be successfully treated, but it can be a grueling experience. Adult heartworm treatment involves deep muscle injections of an arsenic-based drug that kills the adult heartworms. Problems can arise when many heartworms are dying in the lungs and heart, possibly causing severe reactions in the dog. Treatment options should be discussed with your veterinarian if it’s needed. Depending on your veterinarian it can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 to properly diagnose and treat a dog. There are no treatments for heartworm positive cats. To compare, it costs approximately $100 a year to protect your pet from heartworm disease. The numbers speak for themselves, so make the smart choice of prevention and make your pet go through unnecessary pain!
Consistent prevention is key for deterring heartworm disease. If a pet is bitten by an infected mosquito and has either missed a dose of preventive medication, or is not on any at all, the preventive will be ineffective because the heartworm larvae are too developed. All commercially available heartworm preventives act by wiping out the microfilariae in the middle stages.
Here are some of our top recommended heartworm preventive medications for both dogs and cats:
Heartgard PLUS Dog Chews are a monthly beef-flavored chewable that provides protection against heartworms and treats and controls roundworms and hookworms.
Heartgard Cat Chewables help prevent heartworm disease and remove and control infections of hookworms. As part of an ongoing prevention program, simply give your cat a Heartgard chewable once a month and use as otherwise directed by your veterinarian.
Sentinel Flavor Tablets are for dogs and inhibit flea egg development before they become adults. It also protects dogs against heartworm, roundworm, hookworm and whipworm.
Revolution® Dog is a topical parasiticide that is applied to the base of the neck each month and enters the bloodstream through the skin. It protects dogs against heartworm disease, fleas and other parasites. The monthly application kills adult fleas and prevents flea eggs from hatching, and is effective against the American dog tick, ear mites and canine sarcoptic mange.
Revolution® Cat is a topical parasiticide that is applied to the base of the neck each month and enters the bloodstream through the skin. It protects cats against fleas, ear mites, roundworm and hookworm infections, and heartworm disease. The monthly application kills adult fleas and prevents flea eggs from hatching.
Trifexis® Tablets for Dogs is a beef flavored monthly chewable that kills fleas, prevents heartworm disease, and treats and controls adult hookworm, whipworm and roundworm infections. Trifexis combines two trusted active ingredients, spinosad and milbemycin oxime, to provide protection for your dog.
All prescription heartworm medications require a prescription and your dog must pass a heartworm test before a new prescription will be given at a PetVet operated clinic location. We recommend discussing heartworm preventive options with our Clinic veterinarians to find an option that will work best for your pet.