The Importance of Heartworm Prevention

The heartworm is a parasite that can grow to up to 35cm long and lives in the arteries and veins of the lung and heart chambers of dogs and cats.

HOW IS HEARTWORM DISEASE SPREAD?

 

The disease is mosquito-borne, so when a mosquito bites the blood of an infected dog or cat, it takes up baby heartworms. The same mosquito then can bite another pet which it then infects with the baby heartworms.
The babies migrate with the flow of blood to the heart and lungs where they grow up into adults.
Symptoms of infection include coughing and exercise intolerance as the adults cause inflammation of the blood vessels of the lungs and heart.
Other symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Dry coat
  • Listlessness or weakness

Heart failure is a common occurrence in infected cases.

A rapid blood test is the best way to tell if your pet has heartworm disease and Southern Cross Vet can perform this test in house with a result in 10 minutes.

The Heartworm Lifecycle (5-6 months)

The Importance of Heartworm Prevention
Image courtesy of Novartis Animal Health

 

HOW CAN YOU PREVENT HEARTWORM?

 

We recommend the safe and effective annual injection which protects your pet from heartworm for a full year. That way you don’t need to worry about forgetting a monthly dose.

WHEN TO START HEARTWORM PREVENTION

 

We recommend that puppies start heartworm prevention from 12 weeks (3 months) of age.

Call us now on 95160234 or email reception@southerncrossvet.com.au to book your pet in for a heartworm injection.