More than a million pets in the U.S. have heartworm disease. Here in south Texas, because of our climate, consistent heartworm preventive is vital to your pet’s health. We are a hot spot for mosquitos. All it takes is one mosquito’s bite to infect your cat or dog with heartworms. Yes, you heard that correctly, both dogs and cats get heartworm disease. In dogs, mosquitos deposit the heartworm larvae into the bloodstream during a bite. Cats can also harbor adult heartworms, but it is more common in cats for heartworms to die before reaching maturity. Once the heartworm dies, the dead heartworm migrates to the lungs, causing acute respiratory distress and possibly death. However, even immature worms can cause respiratory disease in cats.
Heartworm disease affects the heart, lungs and pulmonary blood vessels of pets and can be fatal to both dogs and cats. Unfortunately, there are no approved treatments for cats, but supportive care can sometimes help manage complications. Annual testing and monitoring is important because infected dogs can be successfully treated, and the earlier the better.
At Comal Pet Hospital, we follow the recommendations of the American Heartworm Society (AHS), which recommends annual heartworm testing and year-round heartworm prevention. When it comes to heartworms, prevention is the key. It is safe, effective and affordable. There are a number of safe products out there for both cats and dogs.
Here at Comal Pet Hospital, we recommend a product called “Revolution” for cats. It’s a topical once a month medication that protects against heartworms, fleas, and some intestinal parasites. For dogs? Well, that’s easy. We carry a 6-month injectable medication called “Proheart” that protects against heartworms in dogs for 6 months. That means you don’t have to remember to give a monthly chew or monthly topical. We also have our own online pharmacy where you can purchase any type of heartworm prevention you would like, other than the injectable, as long as the pet meets the yearly requirements.
The AHS recommends year-round prevention for dogs and cats. Heartworm prevention is highly effective when given faithfully, and the year-round cost of preventing the disease in dogs is a small fraction of the cost to treat a heartworm positive dog. Heartworm treatment is very costly and can be extremely dangerous to your dog’s health. Post-treatment the dog has to be kept fairly calm and restricted from exercise. This alone can be extremely difficult for busy dog owners.
Contact us today at 830-625-8074 and we can help you determine which heartworm prevention best fits you and your pet’s lifestyle.