Heartworm Disease

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Discovering your pet has contracted heartworm disease can be extremely concerning, thanks to the difficult life cycle of the condition and the possibility of needing an extensive treatment program. Here at Epsom Clinic we focus on prevention of this parasitic illness in all pets, and can discuss various prevention treatment options with you during a regular check up visit. Should your beloved pet contract heartworm disease (HWD) we have high quality facilities prepared to diagnose and treat them, and a friendly team of vets and nurses on hand to guide you through the process.

Signs of Heartworm

Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and caused by a ­­­nematode parasite called Dirofilaria immitis, which moves through an animal’s tissue and into the vasculature, before entering the pulmonary arterial tree and finally the heart. This long lifecycle means the possibility of numerous negative side effects that complicate treatment, and can result in side effects like extensive tissue and organ damage, and in worst case scenarios, death.

Signs that your pet may have heartworm disease include reduced appetite, weight loss, fatigue, and a persistent cough. The potential seriousness of this disease is what makes prevention treatment so important, but should you suspect your pet has heartworm disease you should book an emergency appointment with us here at Epsom Avenue Clinic immediately.

Heartworm in Dogs

Luckily, heartworm disease is preventable in dogs through preventative therapy that we recommend begins early in life and be maintained throughout their lifespan. This is particularly important for anyone living in northern Australia or areas with a highly tropical climate, where the risks of infection are much higher than elsewhere.

Infection of heartworm in dogs is more common than with other animals if preventative treatments are not carefully followed, and unfortunately the tricky nature of the illness means heartworm treatment can be risky. There are risks involved as the sudden death of the parasite can lead to serious complications in a dog’s health, which is why will always be sure heartworm in dogs is present before commencing the prophylactic treatment.

Heartworm Treatment and Prevention

Here at Epsom Avenue Clinic we have multiple great options for preventative treatment of heartworm in dogs. We offer a range of top quality health products that can be administered monthly through a tasty chew or a topical spot on. There is also an injectable option called Proheart SR12 that we can provide once a year alongside your pets regular health check and vaccination session. This is a recommended option as it removes the need for you to remember to give them heartworm treatment every month, and you can rest assured your furry friend is safe from the dangers of this disease.

In regards to heartworm disease in cats, they also have the ability to become infected but thankfully the rates are quite low. When compared to dogs in similar regions the incidences of infections cats are only about 10%, but should you suspect your pet has the illness we highly encourage you to book an appointment with us at our Epsom Avenue Clinic immediately. Once contracted, cats react harshly to heartworm disease making the treatment a challenge, which is why diagnosing the disease as soon as possible is vital.

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See you and your furry friend soon!

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