According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, the incidence of heartworm across the country is up. As you may already know, potentially deadly heartworm is spread by mosquitoes, and it only takes one bite to infect a pet. Once infected, heartworm can do severe damage to a pet’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
Sadly, many animals don’t show symptoms until the disease is advanced. At that time, symptoms may include coughing, fatigue, weight loss and a swollen abdomen. While cats are much less likely to be susceptible to full-on heartworm infection, they can suffer from a heartworm-related respiratory condition that is very difficult to diagnose.
While there is heartworm treatment available for canines, it is expensive and can be very hard on your pet. There is currently no treatment for cats.
As always, the best treatment is prevention! Our veterinarians advise keeping your pet on heartworm preventive year-round. Be advised if your pet has not previously been on heartworm preventive, he or she will need a heartworm test before starting on one. Schedule an appointment online or call us at 727-577-6500.