How and Why to Protect Your Pets From Heartworm Disease

Houston is known as one of the worst cities for mosquitos. Our mosquito season runs from March through October and is at its worst from April through September. With so many pesky insects flying about and potentially carrying parasites with them, it’s extremely important to protect your dogs and cats from heartworms. All it takes is a single bite, and your pet could be facing a serious health problem.

What Are Heartworms?

Heartworms are serious parasites that can endanger the life of your pet. Infected mosquitoes carry heartworm larvae and transfer them to dogs and cats through their bites. Once bitten, the larvae enter the pet’s bloodstream and travel through the circulatory system to the heart and lungs where they then grow, mature, and reproduce.

Heartworm Disease in Dogs and Cats

Heartworm disease is characterized by respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Heartworm disease can significantly damage a pet’s health and can be fatal. Dogs are natural hosts for heartworms, which means the parasites will easily mature, reach adulthood, and reproduce inside a dog’s body. As a result, heartworm disease is exceptionally dangerous for dogs. Cats, on the other hand, are not natural heartworm hosts, and the parasites do not thrive in a cat’s body. However, even just a few fully grown heartworms can wreak havoc on a cat’s health.

Why Heartworm Prevention Is Essential

No treatment exists for heartworm disease in felines, and the heartworm treatment for dogs is lengthy, complicated, and not always 100% successful. Since treatment is highly challenging and heartworms can be fatal, preventing your pets from getting heartworm disease is crucial to their health.

Heartworm Screening and Prevention With Our Houston Veterinarian

When it comes to protecting pets from heartworm disease, owners have a few options. Heartworm preventatives are available in tablets given orally and injections that work like vaccinations to protect pets from heartworms for six to twelve months. Our veterinarian can help you decide which option is best for your pet.
Administering a heartworm preventative to a pet that has already been infected with the parasites can be fatal. So, dogs and cats must visit a veterinarian to receive a heartworm preventative so they can first be screened for heartworms with a simple blood test before administering the heartworm preventative. At TangleWilde Veterinary Clinic, we take heartworm prevention seriously. If you have not yet started your pet on a heartworm preventative or had them screened for the presence of heartworms, we strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment for your dog or cat today.