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What is Heartworm?

What is Heartworm?

Heartworm is a blood worm that resides in the right side of the heart, causing cardiac and lung disease. It may lead to the death of infected dogs and cats. Learn about the risk factors, symptoms, and prevention of heartworm disease below. 

     1. Do cats get heartworm or just dogs?

Yes, 5-20% of cats may have heartworm.

     2. Why are we talking about heartworm disease and prevention today?

Because some pet parents are becoming, quite frankly, complacent and lazy in caring for the health of their pets, particularly in the area of "Preventative Disease."  The Morris Animal Foundation, conducting major lifetime research on Golden Retrievers, discovered that less then 40% of the pets in their study, all with caring pet parents, were receiving heartworm preventative. That's right, just 40%!!!

     3. Three things to consider:

1) Our dogs and cats need annual preventative care for common infectious diseases with annual vaccines, heartworm testing and heartworm prevention. PREVENTION IS A SAFER AND CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE TO TREATMENT OF DEADLY DISEASES.

2) We know you CARE, so this is JUST a strong reminder --- give heartworm preventative medication regularly. This means year round, because climate change encourages mosquito presence year round throughout the US.

3) There are more cats than dogs. Heartworm treatment for dogs is debilitating but is generally  curative. "There is no effective curative treatment for heartworm disease in cats." So, even if your cat lives inside exclusively, mosquitoes are present and can transmit the heartworm disease to them with the inability to treat it. So, when your vet recommends products with the combination of flea protection with heartworm preventative for your cat, follow their recommendations and use them regularly. 

Heartworm is a serious and potentially fatal condition. Protecting your pet from heartworm is essential and it is vital to take proactive steps to ensure your pets’ well being against this disease.

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