Pet Health

Why Is Year-Round Heartworm Prevention Important?

By March 14, 2023No Comments

Did you know that Texas ranks in the top 10 states for heartworm occurrences in cats and dogs? This makes it more imperative than ever to protect your pet for the entire year.

No medicine is foolproof when it comes to keeping your pet healthy. However, you can protect your pet effectively with year-round heartworm prevention. Without the necessary medication, your cat or dog may go unprotected long enough to contract heartworms. The veterinarians at Central Texas Veterinary Hospital provide heartworm prevention medication to protect your dog throughout the year. Along with annual testing, we can minimize harmful effects if your pet becomes infected.

What Is Heartworm Disease?

Your pet can get heartworm disease if bitten by a mosquito carrying the parasite. Once in your pet’s bloodstream, the worms settle in the lungs and heart. Fortunately, pets cannot pass them on to each other. However, the worms can grow up to 12 inches and weaken the heart, lungs and arteries.

The testing for cats is more difficult and less reliable, making feline heartworm prevention even more important. Meanwhile, tests for dogs are widely available and can detect heartworms in the early stages.

Heartworm Symptoms

Signs of heartworm disease include the following:

  • Fatigue after mild to moderate activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss

As heartworms multiply, excess fluid in the abdomen and heart failure pose significant health risks. Without treatment, this can lead to death.

What Are the Types of Heartworm Medication?

Your dog will need different medication, depending on whether you want to prevent heartworms or treat an infected dog. Medications come in the following forms:

  • Topical treatment
  • Chewable pills
  • Injections

Work with your vet to determine the best treatment option for your cat or dog. You know your pet best, so we will work with you to ensure your pet gets the medication they need.

Why Indoor Pets Also Need Heartworm Prevention

If your pet never goes outside, they will still need heartworm prevention medication to keep them safe. Infected mosquitoes can enter your home and infect your cat or dog. Although heartworms survive better in dogs, cats are still at risk. Plus, it’s much harder to accurately detect heartworms in cats.

Choose Central Texas Veterinary Hospital for Year-Round Heartworm Treatment

As a progressive veterinary hospital, we offer annual testing and preventative medication for heartworms. Through our in-house support services, such as an in-house lab and bloodwork, we can often return a fast diagnosis.

Contact Central Texas Animal Hospital to find out ways you can protect your pet with the guidance of your vet. We provide comprehensive pet health care, including a complete vaccination schedule to keep your pet safe and healthy.