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OUR MISSION IS TO PROVIDE THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF QUALITY AND COMPASSION IN VETERINARY CARE FOR OUR PATIENTS. IN ADDITION WE STRIVE TO BE WELCOMING, INFORMATIVE, AND SUPPORTIVE FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Heartworm Prevention and Treatment

conditions that can reduce a pet's quality of life and even shorten their life are preventable. Heartworm is a serious disease that we help prevent and can treat at Colonial Manor Animal Hospital in Homer Glen. 

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What is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm is a parasite that infects many wild animals and cats, dogs, and ferrets. Unlike rabies, it rarely infects humans, and it's not transmitted through blood or saliva like other infections. Animals carry the parasite and transmitted between them by mosquito bites. Microfilariae or young heartworms transfer from the infected animal to the mosquito, and when the mosquito feeds on another animal, the larvae infect the next animal. 

What are the Symptoms of Heartworm Disease?

In some dogs and many cats, there are no symptoms of the condition. However, the longer your pet goes with the parasite growing inside, the more damage it can do. Some signs you may notice in an active dog include:

  • Persistent cough
  • Reluctant to exert themselves
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

For cats, there can be some symptoms, such as,

  • Coughing
  • Asthma-like attacks
  • Loss of appetite
  • Periodic vomiting
  • Weight loss

Unfortunately, because the disease develops differently in cats than dogs, the first sign for a cat might be sudden death. 

How Can Pet Owners Prevent Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm preventive measures are invaluable, and nearly 100 percent effective. The disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states. The best way to protect your pet is through preventive heartworm treatments and regular testing. Puppies can begin taking a preventive heartworm treatment under seven months, and testing can start at six months. All pets should be tested every six to twelve months.

Preventive medications are also available for kittens and cats. The recommended starting age is six weeks for kittens. Testing should also be done every six to twelve months, regardless of preventive medications. Always contact your veterinary specialist before starting your pet on any new treatments. 

What is Heartworm Treatment Available?

Heartworm treatment is available for dogs. Depending on how far along the disease is and their health, full rehabilitation in a hospital setting is possible. This course of action is expensive, and recovery is not guaranteed. Treatment is not available for cats. Our veterinary care specialists can help reduce any inflammation from the disease, but there aren't any surgeries or way to remove the worms safely. 

Are Your Pet's Safe from Heartworm Disease?

Contact our veterinary center in Homer Glen today at 708-301-8200 and schedule an appointment with one of our licensed veterinarians for a comprehensive pet wellness exam.