How You Can Protect Your Pet in Honor of National Heartworm Prevention Month
Did you know that this month is National Heartworm Awareness Month? Temperatures are rising, and peak mosquito season will be here before we know it, making now an excellent time to find out how to protect your furry family member. Our skilled veterinarians provide effective heartworm prevention medications for pets in Denver at Advanced Veterinary Care of Greenwood Village and will help you give your dog the healthy, happy life they deserve. Read on to learn more.
What Heartworm Disease Is
Heartworm disease is caused by heartworms transmitted via bites from infected mosquitos. The worms grow up to 12 inches in length and reside in the heart, blood vessels, and lungs, causing irreversible organ distress. When heartworm disease is not treated, the parasites continue to grow and reproduce, leading to further issues, such as poor health and, in some situations, a much shorter life expectancy.
Heartworm disease can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Persistent cough
- Fatigue after even light exercise
- Weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Swollen abdomen
- Light-colored gums
- Labored breathing or shortness of breath
How to Prevent Heartworm
Heartworm is extremely challenging to treat and causes irreparable organ damage. For this reason, heartworm prevention is vital for dogs. Heartworm preventatives are readily available in numerous forms, such as 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. Dogs require yearly heartworm testing, too, even if they are on a preventative. While heartworm preventatives are extremely effective, it’s still possible for a dog to contract heartworm disease. Once-a-year testing allows vets to begin appropriate treatment right away if heartworms are detected.
Effective Heartworm Prevention in Denver
If your fur baby needs safe and effective heartworm prevention in Denver, we can help. Our veterinarians will help you determine which type of medication is most suitable for your beloved pet and perform testing to help your four-legged best friend enjoy a long, healthy life free from these parasites. Give us a call to book your dog's appointment.