April represents National Heartworm Awareness Month, and for good reason. Heartworm disease is a serious disease found throughout the entire United States affecting both dogs and cats. Heartworm disease, a parasitic infection spread by mosquitoes, affects any dog. These include young, old, male, female, indoor, and outdoor dogs. Heartworm larvae circulate within the blood. Adult heartworms live for years within the heart, clogging blood vessels and interfering with the heart valves. As a result, the damage is caused to the heart, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, and liver.
When is Heartworm Season?
Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states. Because infected mosquitoes can come inside, both outdoor and indoor pets are at risk. For that reason, the American Heartworm Society recommends that you “think 12:” (1) get your pet tested every 12 months for heartworm and (2) give your pet heartworm preventive 12 months a year.
Signs & Symptoms
Dogs infected with heartworm disease in the early stages show little to no symptoms until eventually, the infection persists. In that case, look for these signs:
- reluctance to exercise.
- a soft, dry cough.
- shortness of breath.
- fatigue after moderate activity.
- decreased appetite.
- weight loss.
Heartworm Disease Prevention & Treatment
Prevention is the best medicine since it can be very difficult and expensive to treat infected dogs. No treatment currently exists for cats. Heartworm preventative medications kill immature worms and prevent them from maturing into adults that cause illness. For this reason, you give preventive medications continuously every 30 days to kill the existing larvae, and cannot kill adult worms. All heartworm medications require a prescription from your veterinarian, for the purpose of annual blood testing to be sure your pet is not infected. This is including dogs already given prevention year-round. Preventative medications are highly effective, but dogs can still become infected. Consequently, even if you miss just one dose. Giving heartworm medication to infected dogs may lead to severe reactions. Learn more about Heartworm Positive Dogs.
VetRxDirect stocks a variety of heartworm and parasite preventative treatments for dogs. Because these require a prescription, choosing the right medication for your dog should be done with the help of your veterinarian so they receive the best protection.
- Effectively kills heartworms, hookworm, and roundworm
- Tasty chewable dogs love
- Convenient monthly dosing
- Safe for dogs six weeks and older
- Dog with food allergies or special dietary needs–Heartgard Tablets do not contain any flavors or beef
- Triple protection from heartworms and intestinal worms
- Kills hookworms and roundworms
- Tasty chewable tablet
- Same active ingredients as brand name heartworm medications
- Prevents heartworm disease in dogs
- Kills tapeworms, whipworms, hookworms, roundworms
- Contains milbemycin oxime and praziquantel
- Provides 1 month of protection
- Tasty chew
- Prevents heartworm disease
- Kills roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms
- Kills and control fleas
- Provides 1 month of protection
- For dogs 8 weeks and older
Which heartworm prevention do you give to your dog? Leave us a comment below.