Preventing Heart Worm is Easy. Treating Heart Worm Is Not!

Posted by Maureen Lake at

Preventing Heart Worm is Easy. Treating Heart Worm Is Not!

Heart Worm

How many times have you been to the Vet and they always ask if your pet is on heartworm prevention? Right? Well, here are some facts why your pet (especially dogs) should at least be on prevention during the summer months. But, the fact of the matter is it would be best for your pet to be on prevention year round.

Heart Worm

What Exactly Is Heartworm Disease?

  • Adult worms release their young, called microfilariae, into an animal’s bloodstream.
  • A mosquito bites the infected animal.
  • Mosquitoes that have become infected transmit it by biting your pet.
  • It takes up to 6 months for the microfilariae (young heartworms) to mature into adult worms.
  • For dogs- the maturing young and adult worms inhabit the bloodstream, working their way to your pet's heart. The worms can live up to 7 years in your pet!
  • For cats- the maturing young and adult worms fester in the blood stream and heart. They can live up to 3 years!

Heart Worm

Where Is Heartworms Found In The U.S.?

  • Found in all 50 states.
  • Most cases come from the southern part of the country.
  • Where ever mosquitoes are - there is heart worm disease.
Heart Worm   Heart Worm

Signs of Heartworm Disease In Dogs:

  • May not show signs of the disease unless the dog is heavily infected.
  • Mild persistent cough
  • Reluctant to move or exercise
  • Fatigue after moderate exercise
  • Reduction in appetite and weight loss.

Heart Worm


Signs of Heartworm Disease In Cats:

  • May exhibit signs that are very non-specific, mimicking several other feline diseases.
  • Vomiting
  • Gagging
  • Difficult or rapid breathing
  • Lethargy and weight loss.
  • Sometimes feline asthma or allergic bronchitis can be mistaken for Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease (HARD)
Unfortunately, there is no treatment for a cat there is only prevention, but cat's are more resistant to heartworm than dogs. Bottom line, preventing heart worm is easy, treating heart worm is not!  

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