Heartworms: they’re on every pet owner’s radar, but what are they, really? How does your pet get heartworms? Can they be cured if your pet gets them? At Germantown Vet, we have all these answers and more to help you understand why heartworm prevention is so, so important for your pet’s health and happiness.
Want to learn more about your pet’s heartworm prevention? Contact Germantown Vet today by calling 240-252-7467240-252-7467.
What Are Heartworms & How Does Your Pet Get Them?
Heartworms are parasitic roundworms that are only spread from host to host through the bite of a mosquito. There’s no other way your pet can get heartworms, and there’s no way to tell if a mosquito is infected. These small thread-like worms are most often found in dogs, but can also infect cats, wolves, coyotes, foxes, ferrets, and other animals. (Only in very rare circumstances are they ever seen in humans, and they can’t be transmitted from your pet to you.)
Although they are called “heartworms,” these worms primarily reside in the lung arteries causing damage to the lung vessels and tissues. Occasionally, adult heartworms do migrate to the right heart and the great veins in heavy infections. Adult heartworms can grow up to 12 inches in length and can live 5 – 7 years—one dog could have as many as 250 worms in its system.
Can Heartworms Be Cured?
Most dogs with heart worms can be successfully treated, although it is expensive, time-consuming, and unpleasant for you and your pet. Your dog will need drug therapy in order to remove the heartworms. A specific treatment will be created for your dog based on the severity of the heartworm infection. Unfortunately, heartworms are not treatable in cats—prevention is the only option to protect your feline friend.
The Importance of Heartworm Prevention
The simple conclusion to all this is to get your pet on a heartworm prevention medication! It’s so easy for your pet to be infected by heartworms—all it takes is one bite from a mosquito—and it’s so easy to prevent. You have two main options when it comes to heartworm prevention:
- Monthly pills
- Monthly topical solutions
Whichever you choose, it ensures your pet is safe from heartworms. Heartworms are dangerous and potentially lethal for your pet—even during treatment—so why take the risk? Heartworm prevention is the only way to ensure your pet is safe and guarded from infection.
Get Heartworm Prevention Medication for Your Pet
Get heartworm prevention medication for your pet in Montgomery County, MD today by calling Germantown Vet. Our veterinarians can check your pet for heartworms and prescribe heartworm prevention medication to start right away. Contact us today to set up your appointment!