Our pets bring smiles to our faces and fill our lives with joy. They are family, so you want to do everything you can to keep them safe. Protecting your pet from heartworm is no different. This month is National Heartworm Awareness Month, so what better time is there to absorb some quick knowledge in keeping your pet healthy? Follow these tips for understanding what heartworm is, and some tips for prevention.
Knowing what heartworm is:
Heartworm is a parasite roundworm that is spread from mosquito bites. Feeding mosquitoes deposit larvae into the animal. Once mature, larvae travels to the heart or lung vessels. These parasites can affect blood flow throughout your pet’s body, the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver.
Knowing the symptoms:
Larvae typically take 6 months to mature, so you may notice these symptoms over time:
Difficulty breathing- Change in breathing habits or heavy breathing.
Loss of appetite- Rapid weight loss, sudden change in eating habits or difficulty eating.
Inactivity- Low energy, easily exhausted or lethargy.
Coughing- Dry cough, especially after physical activity.
Protecting your pet from heartworm exposure is one of the most important things you can do. The following tips will help keep your pet safe:
Regularly test your pet’s blood for heartworm and other diseases- By testing regularly, you are more likely to catch the disease in it’s early stages. This will benefit your animal in the long run.
Keep up with your animal’s preventive medication- You never know when your animal may come in contact with heartworm, so it’s extremely important to never miss a month of medication.
Reduce your animal’s exposure to mosquitoes- It is difficult to avoid mosquitoes all the time, but knowing the seasons they are most prevalent can help you protect your animal. Being aware of the environment mosquitoes thrive in, will help decrease your pet’s exposure.
Taking preventive precautions against heartworm will provide you and your pet more happiness and comfort of health. Book an appointment with Oceanside Vet Clinic for your heartworm prevention care today!