Heartworm Prevention: Protecting Your Furry Friends All Year Round

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition in pets, caused by parasitic worms residing in the lungs, heart, and associated blood vessels of affected animals, including dogs and cats. At True Animal Vet, we emphasize the importance of year-round heartworm prevention to protect your beloved pets from this dangerous parasite.

Understanding Heartworm Disease

Heartworms are transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, making any pet that is exposed to mosquitoes at risk. In areas where mosquitoes are active year-round, the threat is continuous. Once inside your pet, the heartworm larvae mature into adults, reproduce, and can cause significant health issues. Symptoms of heartworm disease in dogs can include coughing, fatigue, reduced appetite, and weight loss. Cats may show symptoms such as coughing, asthma-like attacks, periodic vomiting, or lack of appetite.

Why Year-Round Prevention is Crucial

Heartworm disease can be devastating, and treating it can be costly and complicated, particularly in dogs. For cats, no approved treatment exists, making prevention absolutely essential. The American Heartworm Society recommends year-round heartworm prevention for pets in all parts of the country, not only because it effectively prevents heartworm disease but also because many heartworm preventatives contain medication that helps control other parasites.

Options for Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm preventatives come in various forms, including monthly oral tablets, topical medications, and injectable products administered by veterinarians. These medications are effective and, when given properly and on a regular schedule, provide reliable protection against heartworm disease.

The Case for Professional Guidance

At True Animal Vet, our commitment is to ensure the health and well-being of your pets. We provide expert advice and the latest in heartworm prevention methods. We strongly encourage pet owners to consult with our veterinarians to choose the most appropriate preventative measures tailored to their pets' needs and lifestyle. During a consultation, our team can also provide a heartworm test to ensure your pet is free from infection before starting or continuing a prevention regimen.

Testing Protocol at True Animal Vet

At True Animal Vet, we recommend that all pets be tested for heartworm annually, even if they are on regular preventive treatment. This protocol is in line with guidelines from major veterinary health organizations, including the American Heartworm Society. Our heartworm testing process is quick and straightforward, involving a simple blood test that can provide results in a very short time.

Complications of Heartworm Prevention in Infected Pets

Administering heartworm prevention to a pet that is already infected with heartworms can lead to significant complications. Some heartworm preventatives can cause the death of microfilariae (immature heartworms) in an already infected pet. This sudden die-off can lead to a shock-like reaction, potentially causing severe inflammation and damage to the pet’s body, which can be fatal.

We urge pet owners not to skip their annual heartworm tests, as this is a critical component of effective heartworm prevention and overall health care. The True Animal Vet veterinary team is here to discuss any concerns you may have about heartworm testing, prevention, or treatment.

A Heartfelt Reminder

Maintaining consistent heartworm prevention is an integral part of your pet’s healthcare routine. Skipping doses or delaying the start of prevention can put your pet at risk. Remember, it only takes one mosquito to infect your pet.

For further information on heartworm prevention or to schedule a consultation, visit True Animal Vet in The Woodlands, Texas, or call us at 281-867-5968. Together, we can keep your pets safe, healthy, and free from heartworm disease. Protect your pet before they are at risk, not after they are at risk.

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