Heartworm Prevention Tips: National Heartworm Awareness Month
April is National Heartworm Awareness Month. With warm weather and mosquito season on the horizon, there has never been a better time to boost your understanding of this serious illness and educate yourself on how you can safeguard your beloved pet. We provide heartworm prevention for pets in Swansea at Best Friends Animal Hospital & Pet Resources and are here to help you give your dog a happy, healthy life. Read on to learn more.
What Heartworm Disease Is
Heartworm disease occurs when a dog or another animal is bitten by an infected mosquito. Once inside a suitable host, the worms grow up to 12 inches in length and reside in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, causing severe organ distress. When heartworm disease is not treated promptly, the worms grow and breed continually, which leads to additional complications, like poor general health and, often, a shorter lifespan.
Heartworm disease can cause several symptoms, including:
- Fatigue after even light exercise
- Weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Bloated abdomen
- Light-colored gums
- Labored breathing or shortness of breath
How to Prevent Heartworm
Heartworm is notoriously difficult to treat and can cause irreversible damage to the organs. Preventing the disease is a much better choice than trying to treat it. Heartworm prevention medications come in a few different forms, including chewable pills, topicals, and injectable medications.
According to the American Heartworm Society, all dogs should stay on medication to prevent heartworm year-round, even when mosquitos aren't prevalent. Annual testing is crucial for dogs, too — even those on heartworm preventatives. While preventatives are extremely effective, it is still possible for a dog to become infected with heartworm disease. Once-a-year testing allows veterinarians to begin treatment right away if heartworms are detected.
Effective Heartworm Prevention in Swansea
For effective heartworm prevention in Swansea and the surrounding areas, choose Best Friends Animal Hospital & Pet Resources. Our veterinarians will help you decide which type of medication is right for your beloved pet and perform heartworm testing to help your canine companion live a long, healthy life free from these disgusting parasites. Call now to schedule an appointment for your furry friend.
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