Heartworm Disease

PetVax Affordable Care Hospitals Offer Heartworm Treatment

Caring for your pet’s health requires attention to a number of preventive actions that can help keep them healthy. Heartworm disease is a serious illness that can threaten the life of your pet. At PetVax Affordable Care Hospitals, we provide testing, prevention, and treatment of heartworm disease.

dog and his friend

What is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworms are tiny worms that are transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The worms travel through the bloodstream of an affected animal and lodge in the lungs and heart, where they grow and reproduce, causing health problems for the host animal. Heartworm disease is preventable with regular use of heartworm prevention medications. Heartworm treatment is available for dogs. However, there is currently no treatment for heartworm in cats, which makes preventive measures even more important for them.

Signs & Symptoms of Heartworm Disease

In the early stages of heartworm disease, an animal may show no symptoms at all. However, gradually, as the heartworms grow and reproduce, your dog will eventually develop coughing, asthma-like symptoms, vomiting, lack of appetite, and loss of weight. Cats may experience seizures, fainting, or fluid accumulation in the abdomen. If not properly treated, the animal becomes increasing weak and unable to breathe properly, and death often results, so emergency veterinary care is essential.

Causes of Heartworm Disease

Heartworms are transmitted from animal to animal through the bites of mosquitoes. The mosquito bites an infected animal and feeds on the blood. It then travels to another animal, where the heartworm microfilariae are transmitted through a bite to the skin. It cannot be transmitted through casual contact from animal to animal, nor from contact with food bowls or toys of an infected animal.

What to Expect During Your Appointment

Our veterinarians will give your dog a thorough examination, including weighing the animal and taking their temperature. Some blood will be drawn from the forearm to be tested for heartworm disease. If the test is negative, the vet will discuss heartworm prevention medications with you to ensure that your pet stays healthy and free of heartworms. If the test is positive, the vet will discuss treatment of the disease, which involves preventive medications, antibiotics, and enforced rest.

Make an Appointment for Heartworm Treatment & Prevention

The veterinarians and staff at PetVax Affordable Care Hospitals are committed to providing quality care at a reasonable price for patients in the Memphis, Cordova, and Bartlett communities. We offer a full range of services, including exams, vaccinations, preventive care, surgery, dental care, diabetes care, microchipping, and emergency veterinary care. Call PetVax Affordable Care Hospitals today for an appointment to have your pet checked for heartworm and to learn about prevention and treatment options.

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