If you have recently consulted with a veterinarian about your pets health, the terms “Heartworm Prevention” may have been addressed. Heartworm tests usually occur annually with dogs and cats as part of their yearly preventive and wellness check in order to determine whether or not your pet has been infected with the heart worm parasite.
Heartworms typically reside in an organism’s heart but they can have detrimental effects on an animal’s lungs and surrounding blood vessels the longer they go untreated. As the parasite persists in its host, it is able to lay eggs which travel all throughout the animal’s bloodstream; these can be transmitted from one animal to another via mosquitos. The routine method of discerning whether or not an animal suffers from heartworm diseases is by apprehending a blood sample and detecting antigens left by the parasite or juvenile heartworms within the sample collected.
Symptoms in dogs and cats are very similar. Both typically display coughing, weight loss, and fluid retention in their abdomens which can be seen as a swollen stomach. However, it must be understood that symptoms may not be initially evident and will take time to appear.
Thus, it is important to test your pet annually for the heartworm parasite as there are preventative measures that can be taken in order to help decrease the probability of your pet contracting the parasite.
Discussing Heartworm tests with your veterinarian is the first step you can take in protecting your pet. Preventative treatments are available for your pet but a prescription from your veterinarian is required in order to attain them. If you would like to learn more about Heartworm disease and how you can keep you pet safe you can visit the American Heartworm Society! Prevention is the best care you can provide your pet, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about Heartworm at your pets next consultation. A healthy pet is a happy pet!